Lamenting that both politicians and bureaucrats are “far removed” from the rural problems, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari today said that despite provision of funds and efforts to boost the agriculture and rural economy, the “desired results” were still elusive.
Nitin Gadkari was addressing the students of Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA) here during its 35th convocation.
“I have been living in Delhi for several years but the voice of villages does not reach Delhi,” Gadkari said, “Politicians and bureaucracy are far removed from the problems of rural India. And because of this, the amount of efforts that should be taken to resolve their problems is not happening.
“No primacy is given to connect rural areas with roads. We have purchased helicopters worth Rs 70,000 crore but our villages do not have water for drinking or irrigation,” he said, in an apparent swipe at the UPA Government.
“Agriculture hardly generates 8 to 14 per cent of GDP,” the Minister noted, adding “our Finance Minister has set aside Rs 9 lakh crore for agricultural crop finance and Rs 20,000 crore for interest subsidy in this year’s budget. And several states are even offering interest-free agricultural loans. But despite all this, we are not getting the results that we should be getting.”
Nearly 25-30 per cent of the rural population had unwillingly migrated to the cities because villages have no “no school, no college, and no proper roads,” he said.
“If we only connect 6.5 lakh villages in the country with roads, it will contribute Rs 1,40,000 crore to the economy,” the senior cabinet minister asserted.