Today, we complete four years of our pledge to present Uttar Pradesh, which has the blessings of nature and the lord almighty, as a safe, developed and prosperous state able to achieve the aspirations of its 24 crore people on the global stage. We have dedicated these four years to tackling infinite challenges, exploring endless possibilities and realising your dreams. On March 19, 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave us the path of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas”. As the state government completes four years, I am satisfied that we have been successful in implementing our policies in line with this goal.
PM Modi has dreamt of a “self-reliant India” to overcome the economic crisis unleashed by the COVID pandemic. He is pursuing the goal of making the country a $-5 trillion economy. UP is committed to making a significant contribution towards this goal. Studies reveal that UP is the state with the greatest possibilities in terms of demographic dividend. The only thing needed was to explore and realise these possibilities through coordinated policies and clear intentions.
The government identified barriers to industrial capital investments and facilitated investment procedures by introducing a single-window system. We took concrete steps to provide world-class connectivity and brought the government’s plans and other benefits to the last person in the queue. It was not an easy task to rise to number two in the national ranking of “Ease of Doing Business” within four years, but we did it. UP has become the best business and investment destination in India and ranks second in terms of economy, playing the role of the growth engine for the country. The story of Bundelkhand women working tirelessly to achieve a profit of Rs 2 crore in milk production with a total annual turnover of Rs 46 crore is inspiring. In the COVID period alone, as many as 67,000 members of self-help groups stitched over one crore school uniforms for children of council schools, earning more than Rs 100 crore. Many such innovative efforts are becoming the cornerstone of realising the dream of “Self-reliant Uttar Pradesh”.
Moving forward on the path of development, 40 lakh families got housing and 1.38 crore families got electricity connection in just four years in UP, while the connectivity of every village has improved significantly and work is going on a war-footing to lay optical fibre in the countryside.
We have strengthened interstate connectivity. Five expressways are getting ready to accelerate development, and defence corridors are being built to make the country self-sufficient in defence production. We have to remember that this is the same UP where the per capita income in 2015-16 was just Rs 47,116. Today, it is Rs 94,495. The state with a GDP of Rs 10.90 lakh crore in 2015-16 has emerged with a GDP of Rs 21.73 lakh crore today. This is change.
Under the Jal Jeevan Mission, work is underway to ensure the availability of safe tap water to every household across the state. The state government is working on a comprehensive action plan in this context in Bundelkhand, the Vindhya region and 30,000 revenue villages. The piped drinking water scheme is also being implemented in all these villages. We are thankful to the PM for making the necessary arrangements in the Union Budget to connect villages and cities under JJM. The UP government is providing the benefits of schemes to all without any discrimination. There has been unprecedented development in Musahar, Tharu and Vantangia villages. In eastern UP, Japanese encephalitis and AES disease, which have been the cause of the untimely ageing of innocent children for three decades, have almost been eliminated.
The pandemic and its aftermath held many learning experiences. The suffering of students and their parents who went to other states to prepare for competitive examinations was one, especially during the lockdown period. This set us thinking: Why, despite being the largest state in the country, can’t we prevent our meritorious students from fleeing the state? We decided to find a permanent solution to this problem and came up with the Mukhyamantri Abhyudaya Yojana. The Yojana seeks to provide preparation opportunities for competitive exams to the youth by engaging excellent teachers, subject matter experts and administrative officers to hold classes. Until now, these youths were either deprived of guidance due to a lack of money or they had to go to places like Kota and Delhi. Many youths, whose parents were poor, either could not afford to get coaching in good institutions or their parents had to sell their property. These conditions put psychological pressure on the youth. It gives me spiritual satisfaction that this scheme has been accepted wholeheartedly by students and their parents.
Today’s era is not about youngsters becoming “job seekers”, but “job generators”. Under the Mukhyamantri Yuva Swarozgar Yojana, the UP government is providing financial assistance up to Rs 25 lakh to provide self-employment for the youth. These efforts have proved their utility.
We embarked on our public welfare journey four years ago with waiving farmers’ loans. The state government did not hold its first cabinet meeting until the action plan for loan waiver for small and marginal farmers was prepared. Today, farmers in the state are progressing with the support of advanced technology and are moving towards agricultural diversification.
The last four years have witnessed the creation of New India’s New UP. Our political rivals also recognise that in the last four years, there has not been a single scheme that differentiates among people based on caste or religion. Yes, we are not following the policy of appeasement. Farmers, youth, women and the poor are at the centre of our policies. The policies and the intention of the government are crystal clear and that is why the people are with the government. The state is the same, the resources are the same, the workmen are also the same, but the work culture has changed. This transparent work culture with a dedicated and committed workforce is the hallmark of this brand new Uttar Pradesh. May Maa Bharti guide us in our noble pursuit.
The writer is chief minister of Uttar Pradesh