HT@15: Madhya Pradesh as I dream

  • Shivraj Singh Chouhan, None, Bhopal
  • Updated: Feb 22, 2015 20:23 IST

Madhya Pradesh is a unique state. Known for its peaceful culture and ethnic diversity, the state offers immense growth opportunities in every sphere of development.

The study of Madhya Pradesh and its resources elaborately underlines a fact that this vast state always needed efficient management of resources -- economic, natural and human resources. When the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power, we found the state in a dilapidated condition. Empty exchequer, defunct governance systems, zero motivation level and complete despondency dominated the scenario.

The socio-economic infrastructure was almost non-existent. We had to start afresh. We started thinking about how to accomplish this formidable task of transforming a huge state. Several strategies were devised and approaches to development were tried. Finally, a participatory nature of policy making was found to be the most suitable in view of people’s aspirations and expectations.

Almost a decade later, Madhya Pradesh has a different story to tell. Developments prevail. Development initiatives have touched every section of society. Benefits have reached one and all. Basic infrastructure needed for speedier economic growth has been constructed. Pro-people oriented development programmes were designed with flexibility to maintain relevance in the changing scenario.

The outcome is starkly visible today. We have been maintaining double digit economic growth and have excelled in performance of the farm sector, securing a distinct identity at home and abroad. The agriculture growth rate has touched almost 25%. The state has been rewarded with the prestigious Krishi Karman Award thrice. It was hard to lead from the farm-based economy to industry-based economy. Today, Madhya Pradesh remains the best choice for industrial investments.

I found that there is a need to articulate a middle-term perspective for all-round development of the state. The aim is to consolidate gains secured over the past decade and to lay firm foundations for growth and development in the years to come. This may well be the first framework of its kind in the administrative history of the state.

Its focus is on identifying and implementing measures that add value to the manner in which citizen-centric services are expanded and delivered efficiently. The last decade has been one of splendid economic recoveries. During this period, investment in the economic, infrastructure and social sectors dominated the public investment scenario.

Much still remains to be done. The objective of this exercise is to continue to explore measures that help maximise welfare and material well-being of all citizens. It is articulated on the premise that the current enabling environment will be further strengthened and enhanced by encouraging private investment, by improving the legal and administrative systems and by promoting partnerships.

The economic and political stability of the last decade gives us the strength to consider longer term perspectives for development. Instead of taking up short-term and ad hoc measures, we can now strive for the attainment of broad policy objectives for good governance, accelerated economic growth and equitable social development.

Reducing the incidence of poverty, increasing incomes, reducing income disparities and maximising opportunities for sustainable employment are top priorities.

Madhya Pradesh, during the last five years, has achieved unprecedented high rates of growth. The state can be legitimately proud of its attainments in food, agriculture and irrigation, reliable power supply, excellent inter-district and village roads, innovative social justice initiatives, guaranteed delivery of selected public services, a good law and order situation, sound management of public finance and a commitment to good governance.

The work initiated for strengthening the social safety net, empowering women and the girl child, and for improving the quality of education and health services will help achieve an even better quality of life for the people at large.

It is now time to ensure consolidation of gains made so far and further accelerate growth and all-round, inclusive development, especially by expanding opportunities for value addition in agriculture, attracting investment and skill development for job creation.

Improving infrastructure and sanitation within towns and villages and strengthening the delivery of public services has been made the mantra of the government. Madhya Pradesh - 2020 is our target to see the state witnessing balanced growth in agriculture and industries. Agriculture has realised its fullest potential. We have made farming a profit-making proposition.

At the same time, opportunities for growth of industries and micro enterprises remain to be harnessed efficiently. The agriculture sector’s contribution, aided significantly by the expansion of irrigation facilities, has helped the state’s economy achieve high rates of growth in the recent past.

The challenge is to sustain the momentum. Being cognisant of the fact that double digit growth, year on year, in the sector is rare and difficult, the challenge lies in extending its outreach to farmers who have not yet benefited fully and by opening up avenues for diversification, value addition and efficiency.

I envision Madhya Pradesh as the front- ranking state in the country. It should be the state with employment for every skilled person. It should be the state where growth opportunities are available to everyone without any bias.

It should be the state where every young person is self-employed, every family has easy and unhampered access to health, education and all public services.

We have listed priorities and interventions that can help attain the over-arching goals for socio-economic development and inclusive growth. Speedy development, transformational progress and good governance are prominent goals to achieve.

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