Madhya Pradesh: The dark horse of growth stories

Written by: Stuti Srivastava and Ankita Singh
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When it comes to growth and development in the country, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh are brothers-in-arms. While one basks in the limelight it truly deserves; the other, it would seem, almost shies away from it- letting its achievements do the talking.

Madhya Pradesh has come a long way, ever since BJP came to power in the State around a decade ago, with Shivraj Singh Chouhan at the helm of affairs. Under his leadership, Madhya Pradesh has seen unprecedented growth in terms of infrastructure and overall development.

Under the Mukhya Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana initiated by his Government and the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (an NDA Government brainchild carried forward by UPA), MP seen 80,000 km of roads, highways, village roads and arterial roads being constructed. While roads were built connecting villages, unmetalled and dirt roads constructed under UPA's MGNREGA scheme were transformed into functioning all-weather tarred roads.

The state's previously sluggish economy accelerated into a fast-rising one, as a result of various schemes and initiatives taken by Chouhan's Government.

Shivraj Singh Chouhan

At the heart of a state's economic prosperity lies agriculture. Madhya Pradesh, along with Bihar, is the only state where the farmer's income has increased in the last five years, as pointed out by Murli Manohar Joshi recently.

The state government has won over the farmers by providing them with incentives and promoting agriculture. The farmers are not solely dependent on the procurement price offered by the Central Government as Chouhan's Government offers them a bonus on the same.

To add to the list of the Chief Minister's accomplishments in the state, the state has successfully managed to triple the area under irrigation from 7 lakh hectares to 22 lakh hectares.

To ensure that no section of the society is left out of the growth story, the MP Government has come up with new endeavours that encompass the poor and marginalised sections.

Cottage industries and other small-scale industries in the state will be resuscitated as the government intends to promote more such industries all across the state and providing them with reliable power supply, which will take care of employment needs.

The Mukhyamantri Yuva Swarozgar Yojna, to be launched from April 1, gives utmost importance to skill training and youth development. The scheme provides bank guarantee on a loan of upto Rs 25 lakh along with 5 per cent interest subsidy for 5 years, making it easier for small businesses to grow. This will only encourage budding entrepreneurs who, until now, had hardly any access to start-up capital for their industries or businesses.

The power sector was in a fractured condition in the state, with frequent power-cuts. Chouhan addressed this problem by ensuring that the power generation capacity went up to 6,000 MW, as opposed to 2,900 MW previously, doubling the power output.

As highlighted by Chouhan himself,  his Government backed down 870 MW, because the national grid could not absorb it. He confidently states that he will be able to provide for 24X7 power supply by the end of 2013.

The Madhya Pradesh model is one we need to follow as an example now, as the CM has tirelessly and without pretension, and tailored it to the state's needs. Looking at the Chouhan Government's list of success stories, a third term seems likely and well-earned.

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