The transformation of Uttar Pradesh
On March 19, we complete four years of our pledge to realise the aspirations of 240 million people of India’s largest state, with endless possibilities of progress. With a determination to achieve “Target Antyodaya”, we have been focused on pursuing our goals. I am of the firm belief that if work is done for the larger good with good intent and conviction, it is definitely successful.
It is a matter of great spiritual satisfaction that our government succeeded in preserving both lives and livelihoods of the people amid the horrors of the coronavirus pandemic, under the guidance of Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi. Whether residents or migrants, everyone was taken care of during Covid-19. We succeeded in breaking the chain of infection and continued to create employment, while pursuing developmental goals. Even the World Health Organization and the global media praised Uttar Pradesh (UP)’s strategy to contain the virus. All this became possible because of our sincere, sustained and collective effort. In this battle against the coronavirus, a new UP has emerged on the national scene.
UP has immense potential for development. However, there was a need to explore ways to exploit this potential through coordinated policies and clear intentions. The first effort in this context was to focus on infrastructure and industrial development. In fact, infrastructure is the growth engine for any economy. Without it, economic growth cannot be rapid, sustainable and competitive. We have made continuous efforts in the last four years keeping this in mind. UP is also the most promising state in terms of the demographic dividend. It was not easy to rise to number two in the national Ease of Doing Business rankings within four years, but we did it. In terms of Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP), UP has surpassed Gujarat, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to become the second largest economy in the country today.
To rid UP permanently free of the brunt of unemployment and migration, we decided to make every village and every district self-sufficient. Reviving traditional industries through the One District-One Product (ODOP) scheme, with the “Swadeshi to Swavalamban” and “Vocal for Local” mantra, millions of units of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) provided loans on easy terms. This gave an impetus to the economy and paved the way for job creation. Under the ODOP scheme, units of cottage industries, supported by subsidy-based financial incentives and favourable environment, created more than four million jobs.
This is the new picture of the “New and Self-reliant (Atmanirbhar) Uttar Pradesh of New India”. PM Modi has given the call of a “Self-reliant India”. He is pursuing the goal of making the country a $5 trillion economy. UP expresses its commitment to play a leading role in realising this dream.
Schemes such Mission Shakti and Mission Rozgar are becoming instrumental in achieving the goals of women’s safety and empowerment by helping them become self-dependent. Rigorous efforts paved the way for economic upliftment of more than 10 million women from one million self-help groups in the state.
The innovative experiment of connecting 58,758 women — one each in all of UP’s gram panchayats — to the banking system through the banking correspondent Sakhi Scheme, and extending the bank to every village has also emerged and flourished. Today, women are being entrusted with the responsibility of running community toilets (Izzatghar) of the state, while giving priority to women under the Swamitwa Yojna, a new script is being prepared for their social empowerment. The policy of reserving 20% of the posts in the police department for women has also brought favourable results.
Four years ago, the present government’s journey of public welfare started with the waiving of loans of farmers. Today, farmers in the state are moving towards agricultural diversification by connecting with advanced technology. Efforts are also being made towards reducing the cost for farmers and doubling their income.
We have a firm approach towards faith and economy and these are manifested clearly in our policies. The light of cultural nationalism, which has ignited in UP in the last four years, has illuminated the heart of every believer in the eternal force. Through the Ganga Yatra, the objectives of both faith and economy were fulfilled. The foundation stone for the centuries-old, long-awaited, grand temple of Lord Sri Rama at Sri Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya was also laid in 2020. Ayodhya Deepotsav, Dev Deepavali of Kashi and Braj Rangotsav were widely appreciated. The government is also making planned efforts to enrich Ayodhya by presenting it as a blend of Vedic and modern cultures.
Four years ago, UP was fifth-largest state in terms of the economy and youth migration was the order of the day. The state with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of ₹10.90 lakh crore in 2015-16 has, today, emerged as the second economy in the country with a GDP of ₹21.73 lakh crore. The state is the same, the resources are the same, the workers are also the same, but the work culture has changed. This committed, transparent work culture with dedicated spirit is the hallmark of this new UP.
We have been successful in implementing our policies in line with the PM’s path of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas”. Yes, we are not following the policy of appeasement. But our political rivals also recognise that in the last four years, there has not been a single scheme which differentiates on the basis of caste or religion. Farmers, youth, women and the poor are at the centre of the policies of the present government. The policy and intention of the government is clear and that is why the people are with the government. The success of the last four years, and continuous development, is today giving rise to a self-reliant UP.
Yogi Adityanath is the chief minister of Uttar PradeshThe views expressed are personal