On Thursday, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan told Rajya Sabha, that, the government will provide Rs 1 lakh crore additional income to farmers that will be generated by converting waste into energy.
“We have started the Gobar Dhan scheme. Cow dung, agriculture waste, city waste, forest waste, the carbon in biomass, everything will be converted into energy. In a few days, the heap of waste at Ghazipur will be cleaned up. The energy that we will make from that we are going to give additional income of ₹ 1 lakh crore in the accounts of farmers. Income of farmers will double from that,” Mr Pradhan said while speaking during a discussion on Motion of Thanks to the President’s address.
He said the government has come up with a scheme to procure ethanol worth ₹ 20,000 crore which will help increase farmer’s income.
“We have made a scheme for buying 325 crore litre ethanol in 2020-21. We have started buying that will cost ₹ 20,000 crore. This will be 8.5 per cent of requirement. In the coming days we will take it to 20 per cent,” Mr Pradhan said.
He blamed the Congress party for not bringing a law on minimum support price (MSP) of crops despite being in power for long and yet questioning the present government on this issue, he asserted that the Modi government after coming to power in 2014 has substantially increased the procurement of foodgrains at MSP.
A legal backing for MSP is one of the demands (besides repeal of the new farm laws) of the farmers protesting at various borders of the national capital for over two months now. Eleven rounds of talks between the Centre and farmers’ unions have failed to break the deadlock, though the government has offered concessions including suspension of the farm laws for 18 months.
“Why MSP law was never brought in the past? Your four generations had got opportunity to rule the country. In many states you ruled thinking it was your estate. When did you get a law on MSP?” Mr Pradhan asked the Congress.
“You question us, where have we given MSP? During your time (2013-14), a total of ₹ 97,110 crore was given as MSP to farmers. In our time (2020-21), we have given ₹ 2.60 lakh crore. You question those working honestly for farmers’ welfare farmers?” he added.
According to Mr Pradhan, MSP payment made to paddy growers under the Modi government has increased to ₹ 1.72 lakh crore this year, from ₹ 63,000 crore during previous regime in 2013-14, he said.
MSP payment to wheat growers increased to ₹ 75,050 crore now as against ₹ 33,874 crore in 2013-14, while support price payment to pulses reached RS 10,500 crore last year as against mere ₹ 236 crore in 2013-14, he added.
Highlighting measures taken by the government for all sections of the society, Mr Pradhan said Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a leader is “decisive” and implements programmes that have been promised.
“Our PM is not a leader who runs away hiding his face. He is a leader who faces challenges head on by taking the entire country together. Therefore, we have been able to defeat COVID,” he said and shared how Kuwait’s new king appreciated India for sending doctors and medical help for COVID-19 patients.