‘Have no plans to provide farmers compensation, instead will help double their income by 2022’
Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat says his government has set the groundwork for the state’s “holistic development” since he assumed charge six months ago. He pooh-poohed the criticism his government is facing from the Opposition and the people in general on slow delivery.dehradun Updated: Sep 17, 2017 20:14 IST
Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat says his government has set the groundwork for the state’s “holistic development” since he assumed charge six months ago. He pooh-poohed the criticism his government is facing from the Opposition and the people in general on slow delivery. In a recent chat with HT he clarified that all sectors-- health, education, farm and infrastructure are being strengthened with an aim to check forced migration from the hills. Excerpts:
It has been six months since you assumed office. The Opposition Congress says that your government has failed to deliver.
We don’t bother much about their (Opposition) criticism. The previous Congress government was steeped in massive corruption. We have been able to stem that rot to a great extent. Transfer and postings of even officials belonging to the elite cadres such as the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) or the Indian Police Service had acquired the shape of industry. We have been able to introduce transparency in all aspects of governance, be it transfers or the development process.
Intelligentsia too feels not much has been seen on the ground in terms of development. The media too complains that you stay aloof.
No, I don’t stay away from the media. However, I believe in doing my work. For, any delay on my part in clearing files can affect thousands of people, especially if files pertain to policies.
People also feel that not much is happening on the ground in terms of delivery.
That’s a wrong impression. Since we assumed office, we have cleared all development projects pertaining to roads, irrigation works and augmenting water resource etc. Funds for most such projects too have been cleared. The precaution is being taken so that the growth process remains unaffected by the poll code. It will be imposed on the state for most parts of the next two years owing to local body elections and the Lok Sabha polls. Similarly, steps have also been initiated to boost several key sectors.
Recently, we transferred a large number of doctors to interior (hill) areas that were facing acute paucity of doctors. About 70% doctors have joined their duty. Such an initiative has been taken for the first time since the state’s formation 17 years ago. Recently, under a novel initiative by our government, some 120 army doctors offered to join in the state run hospitals. Some 70 of them have even confirmed that they would take up postings in remote hill areas.
The Opposition had hit out at your government for not waiving farm loans in the wake of suicide by some farmers…
We have no plans to provide them (farmers) monetary compensation. Instead, we plan to boost the farmers’ economy by doubling their income by 2022 under a scheme recently announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Under that scheme, farmers would be provided loans up to Rs 1 lakh at a nominal 2% interest rate. The monetary assistance will be given to them to set up hatcheries, agro-based units and dairy farming etc, which would fetch them additional incomes. Then there are other steps being taken to boost the horticulture and agriculture sectors.
Could you cite some examples?
We are encouraging farmers to grow off season crops, so that they could get good returns from markets. For that they would be provided all help including seeds, plants etc on time. Besides, plans are also afoot to boost the horticulture sector. We are also stressing on skill development among the youth to generate employment.
Any plans to check forced migration from the hills?
All our development related initiatives are aimed at checking forced migration.