PTI

The Centre has spent approximately Rs 10 lakh crore during the last eight years to see that farmers in the country are not burdened by the high global prices of fertilisers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday.

Modi, who was speaking after laying foundation stones and dedicating to the nation multiple projects worth over Rs 9,500 crore at Ramagundam in Telangana, said the Union government would spend more than Rs 2.5 lakh crore this year to make fertilisers available to the farmers at affordable rates.

He also said his government has transferred more than Rs 2 lakh crore to the bank accounts of farmers under the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme.

The Prime Minister said five big fertiliser plants in the country that were lying closed for years are being restarted towards achieving 'atmanirbharta' (self-reliance) in urea.

The Gorakhpur plant in Uttar Pradesh has started production and the Ramagundam plant has been dedicated to the nation.

When these five plants are fully functional, the country will get 60 lakh tonne of urea which will lead to huge savings on imports and ease of availability of urea, he said.

Modi said urea would be made available in future under a single brand called 'Bharat Urea' in view of the problems faced by farmers earlier due to the existence of multitude of brands of fertilisers.

"Its quality and price are already determined. All these efforts show how we are reforming the system for farmers, especially small farmers," he said.

He also said India is marching towards becoming the third largest economy in the world according to experts, even when the world is going through critical times.

Modi said experts have stated that the growth witnessed by the country after 1990, in the past three decades, will happen in just a few years due to the change that has happened during the past eight years.

"For the past two or three years, the world has been fighting the corona pandemic. On the other hand, there are frictions, military actions are taking place and the effects of those are also impacting the country and the world," he said.

Even under these critical circumstances, experts in the world say that India would soon become the third largest economy in the world and that it is marching forward in that direction, he said.

In the past eight years, there has been a change in governance, thought process and also approach, he said. Whether it is infrastructure, government processes, or ease of doing business, all the changes are inspiring the India's "aspirational society".

Referring to allegations that the Centre is seeking to privatise state-run mining company Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) in Telangana, Modi asserted that there is no such proposal before the Centre.

The Union government does not have any such intention, he said.

The Telangana government holds 51 per cent stake in SCCL, while the Centre only holds 49 per cent, he said.

The Centre cannot take any decision related to the privatisation of SCCL as 51 per cent stake is held by the state government, he said.

"That is why, I appeal to my brothers and sisters. Don't pay any attention to these rumours. Let these traders of lies remain in Hyderabad," he said in an indirect reference to criticism made by the ruling TRS, CPI and others over claims of privatising the state-run entity.

The privatisation of Singareni Collieries is a key issue in Telangana as thousands of people in the state are employed in the government coal mining company.

Earlier in the day, about 200 people belonging to various political parties, including CPI Telangana State Secretary K Sambasiva Rao, were taken into custody as part of preventive measures, police said.

The CPI had called for a bandh in Ramagundam on Saturday in protest against the alleged moves to privatise the SCCL. 

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