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Prime Minister Modi

GuwahatiPrime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday asserted that the deprived and backward sections will be given priority in the government’s quest for development of the nation.

Modi, during a virtual address at the Krishnaguru Eknaam Akhand Kirtan for World Peace’ in Assam’s Barpeta district, also said special provisions have been made in the Union Budget 2023-24 to increase the interest rates on women’s savings to empower them.

“In order to make the income of women a means of their empowerment, the Mahila Samman Saving Certificate has been started. Women will especially get the benefit of higher interest on savings,” he said.

“There are many such provisions in this budget from which women of northeastern states like Assam, Nagaland, Tripura, Meghalaya will be widely benefited, new opportunities will be created for them,” the PM said.

He said Assam and the northeast was “deprived” of connectivity and development for decades, but during the last eight years, the government has focused on the region’s welfare.

“Provisions have been made in the budget for improved tourism facilities, modern infrastructure and virtual connectivity, and these will greatly benefit the people of the northeast,” Modi said.

He also said 50 tourist destinations will be developed and upgraded.

Modi said traditional skills of artisans of the region are now being recognised globally and the central government will set up a ‘Unity Mall’ in each state, where customary products will be displayed.

Such products of the region will also be on display at important tourist destinations.

The country is starting the PM Vishwakarma Kaushal Yojana’ for the traditional artisans to enhance their skills, he said.

The PM, draped in a white and green ‘gamosa’, said demand for the traditional hand towels has gone up in the last eight years.

“Lakhs of women organised under Self Help Groups (SHGs) are weaving these. Behind every gamosa’ is the hard work of the women of Assam,” he said.

The prime minister also said the PM Awas Yojana allocation has been increased to Rs 70,000 crore, and most homes built under the scheme are in the name of the women of the house.

The month-long kirtan, which began on January 6, is being held at the Krishnaguru Sevashram.

Referring to the tradition of the Akhand Eknaam Jap’ by Krishnaguru, Modi said: “These events rekindle a sense of duty in the individual and society. People used to gather to discuss and analyse the happenings of the last 12 years, evaluate the present and create a blueprint for the future.”

‘Eknaam Akhanda Kirtan’ is laying down a powerful tradition and making the world familiar with the heritage and spiritual consciousness of the northeast, he added.

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