The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, visited Varanasi today.He dedicated the campus of the International Rice Research Institute, at Varanasi, to the nation. He visited various laboratories of the Institute.At the Deendayal Hastkala Sankul, the Prime Minister visited the One District, One Product (ODOP) Exhibition.He launched a Comprehensive Pension Management Scheme. He unveiled plaques to mark the laying of Foundation Stones, or dedication of various projects in Varanasi.Mentioning the various projects unveiled today, he said they all have a common theme: Ease of Living, and Ease of Doing Business. He described the Uttar Pradesh Government's "One District, One Product" scheme as an extension of "Make in India."The Prime Minister said that in the State of Uttar Pradesh, the small and medium sector enterprises have been a part of traditions. In this context, he mentioned the carpet industry of Bhadohi, the sports goods industry of Meerut, and the silk industry of Varanasi, among others. He described Varanasi and Poorvanchal as a hub of handicrafts, and art. The Prime Minister said 10 products of Varanasi and nearby regions, have received Geographical Indication tags. He said the One District, One Product scheme will convert these expressions of art, into profitable business, by ensuring good machines, training and marketing support. He said that he has been informed that loans worth Rs. 2000 crore are likely to be disbursed during this event.He said the emphasis in this scheme is to provide a holistic solution for the makers of the products. He said that the DeendayalHastkalaSankul, is now fulfilling its ultimate objective.The Prime Minister said that the Union Government has worked to make the lives of common people better, and to promote ease of doing business.
The Prime Minister said that SAMPANN - the System for Authority and Management of Pension launched today, will greatly facilitate pensioners of the telecom department, and help in timely disbursement of pension. The Prime Minister said the Union Government is using technology to improve ease of living, and greater ease of access to citizen-centric services. He said India Post Payments Bank is being used to expand banking services through post offices. He said a network of over 3 lakh Common Service Centres is helping to provide a range of services, digitally, to the people in rural areas. He also spoke of the huge increase in the number of internet connections in the country. He said over one lakh Panchayats in the country are now connected via broadband. The Prime Minister said Digital India, apart from facilitating people, is also bringing in transparency in government working, and curbing corruption. In this context, he mentioned the Government e-Marketplace, or GeM. He said GeM will be of immense use for MSMEs.The Prime Minister said the Union Government is committed to empowering MSMEs. By making access to credit easier for MSMEs, ease of doing business is also being ensured.The Prime Minister said a big effort is underway to provide modern amenities and promote industry in eastern India, through LNG. One benefit of this is cooking gas which is now becoming available to thousands of homes in Varanasi, he added.Referring to the International Rice Research Institute campus in Varanasi, he said this Centre is a result of our efforts to make agriculture more profitable, using technology.The Prime Minister said that the transformation of Kashi is now becoming visible. He said the development projects unveiled today would further help in this regard. He reiterated that the Union Government is committed to cleaning the River Ganga. He said public support is facilitating the move towards this goal.The Prime Minister expressed confidence that the upcoming PravasiBharatiya Divas, later this month in Varanasi, would be a success.