Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday urged non-resident Indians to contribute to the development of Madhya Pradesh with investments and skills.
He said the fastest growing state has the distinction of having three world heritage sites- Khajuraho, Sanchi and Bhimbetika. The state had emerged as an ideal destination for investment in road, power, irrigation and communication sectors, he said while addressing a programme — “development challenges: opportunities of partnership” — during the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas Sammelan in New Delhi.
An NRI facilitation centre will be opened in the State to maintain a constant dialogue with overseas Indian communities. The centre will prepare a data bank on NRIs and function as a coordinator between them and the government, the chief minister said.
Chouhan said the State regarded every NRI as a self-appointed brand ambassador of Madhya Pradesh. Keeping this in view, an NRI convention will be held at Khajuraho on January 16 and 17 and a global investors’ summit (Destination Madhya Pradesh) is scheduled for October at Bhopal.
The State is an island of peace with zero industrial man-days loss, he added. Chouhan said infrastructure development was the most formidable challenge three years ago in Madhya Pradesh. The government had given top priority to this sector. Perhaps Madhya Pradesh was the only state in the country where industrial power tariff was constantly on the decline, he said. It had been reduced from Rs 4.25 to Rs 3.70 per unit.
The budget allocations for roads, electricity and irrigation had been increased by 100 to 600 percent, he said. He said according to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy the net monthly addition to cellular subscription had increased by 853.7 per cent in the State in October 2006. As per a World Bank report the State has the highest number of public-private partnership projects – one fourth of the total.
Chouhan said all these achievements were possible due to a strict fiscal discipline. The state did not have a single day overdraft in last three years.
It had a desire to become a revenue surplus budget state by 2009-10. But the target was achieved in 2006-07 itself. The first six months of the financial year witnessed a 100 percent increase under six heads in revenue collection. The State was able to strengthen its financial position without imposing any new taxes, he said.
Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and representatives from other states were present on the occasion.