Rolling out her new economic policy for the state, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Monday said it would focus on "public-private partnership" - to attract private investment to improve the infrastructure.
Announcing her new mantra for the state at a press conference in Lucknow on Monday evening, Mayawati said: "While past central and state governments have pursued either total public sector or exclusively private investment, my government has decided to adopt a middle-path where we hope to attract private investment to improve the quality of our existing infrastructure."
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief went on, "And this would be done without compromising with the interests of the existing employees and without surrendering the ownership of assets." As such, the state government will continue to retain 11-49 per cent stake in all such units, she said.
The new arrangement will not in any way affect the constitutional reservation policy that has always been on top of her BSP's political agenda.
"It was a major challenge before us to draft a new economic policy that would take care of the interest of all sections of society including those belonging to the lowest strata. Since the government's own resources are always limited, the only way this could be achieved is through public-private participation," she pointed out.
Significantly, the chief minister's scheme of things incorporates all key areas including not only urban and rural infrastructure, energy, roads, drinking water and irrigation, but also education, health and transport.
"We have kept scope for inclusion of other areas too from time to time," Mayawati said.
Emphasising that the policy would not interfere with her party's fundamental approach to reservation for the downtrodden castes, the chief minister said: "Private partners taking a plunge for partnership with the state-owned units would have to follow the reservation policy as enshrined under the constitution by Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar."
She, however clarified, "Private investors seeking to avail of various concessions offered by the state for setting up new entrepreneurial units would be required to follow a different reservation policy - allocation of 10 per cent jobs for scheduled castes, 10 per cent for other backward castes and yet another 10 per cent for the economically weak among upper castes."
"What we have also taken care is to do away with regional imbalances, so that we can achieve our government's ultimate goal of ensuring overall comprehensive development of the state," she added.