Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh, in an exclusive interview with Danish Manzoor, Executive Editor, IBTimes India, laid out his plans to develop Chhattisgarh and invited investors to the state. He also spoke about how education in the state has improved over the years.
After being chief minister for 13 years, Dr Raman Singh remembers the powerful words of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who said that Chhattisgarh with good resources will go forward to become a developed state. "A state that earlier recorded starvation deaths today holds an important position amongst other developed states," he said.
On developments in Chhattisgarh
Speaking on The Talk, Dr Singh said that the government is in the process of turning the capital, Raipur into a smart city. He also added that the government is doing its best to provide all the basic infrastructure facilities required for Raipur. "With 27 percent greenery and with a clean environment that includes a jungle safari and a botanical garden, Naya Raipur is like a dream city," he said.
"Not only do we want Chhattisgarh to be elevated to the status of a developed state, we are working for it to be among the leading states in the country," said Dr Singh.
He further added that education has been the primary focus of the government. "In every one kilometre we have a primary school, in every 2 kilometres there is a middle school and every 5 kilometers we have a high school," he said.
The CM further added that the government has now moved towards ensuring quality education which is also being monitored on a regular basis.
Singh spoke about the government's effort in providing better education for the students of the LWE (Left Wing Extremism)-affected districts.
Having the potential to become a logistics hub, all Chhattisgarh would need is skilled manpower and good digital connectivity, the CM added.
Singh stated that Chhattisgarh stands No 4 in the country with respect to ease of doing business. "We are ready to provide all facilities including clearance, and we invite single investors instead of single window clearance," he said. He also added that the state is the best destination for investment.
On effect of demonetisation and GST
When asked about the affect of demonetisation, the CM said the government of India has taken a bold step and that demonetisation has a positive impact on the economy.
Due to the note ban, terror funding was squeezed. "Terrorism and Naxalism have reduced significantly due to the note ban," he said.
He further added that DBT (Direct Benefit Transfer) has ensured transparency in the economy and has reduced corruption in the country.
On GST, the CM said that it will benefit the country's economy in the long run. "During this Diwali, Chhattisgarh alone had seen a 20 percent hike in business compared to the previous years," he said.
The CM said that Naxalism has been there in the state for the past 30 years, but claims that over the past 13 years the government has been successful in giving a befitting reply to the Naxals. The state government has also started developing the Naxal-affected districts like Bastar.
"The police force is working to provide safety to the people of Bastar. The people seek development, as they have understood that Naxalites have destroyed their livelihood. The day Bastar becomes Naxal-free, it will also turn into one of the most developed districts with all the basic facilities," he said.
On upcoming elections
The CM said that he plans on fulfilling 'Mission 65+' of Bharatiya Janata Party chief Amit Shah in the 2018 elections by bagging more than 65 seats in Chhattisgarh.
"With the blessings of PM Narendra Modi, the state has been successful in all its development efforts," he added.
Regarding Ajit Jogi's Chhattisgarh Janata Congress party, he claimed that its will lead to three-corner battles in the upcoming elections. He hopes that his party will be benefited as the votes of the Congress are likely to be split.
Politics and development aside, the chief minister said the state is one of the most beautiful places for tourism and welcomed citizens to experience what it has to offer.