Raipur: “Chhattisgarh is steadily pursuing the path
shown by Father of Nation Mahatma Gandhi. We envision India as a nation with
an economy so strong that it can sustain any crisis or calamity. COVID crisis
has made us realize the importance of sustainable development”, said Chief
Minister Bhupesh Baghel while virtually addressing the programme organized by
PHD Chamber of Commerce.
He further said that sustainable development is not
a new concept. Our father of nation Mahatma Gandhi had also guided us towards
this vision of a balanced and sustainable approach towards development.
“The economy of Chhattisgarh remained relatively
stable during the entire period of crisis. There has been significant growth in
the state, not only in the field of agriculture but in various other sectors including
automobiles as well. The unemployment rate remained steady. Even at present,
the unemployment rate in Chhattisgarh is only 3.8 per cent. This is half of the
national average of 7.6 per cent. We have consistently performed well in terms
of GST collections as well. One of the major reasons behind this achievement is
the far-sighted vision and consistent efforts of Chhattisgarh Government to
strengthen the rural economy, long before the pandemic struck. Soon after
coming to power in December 2018, we immediately took several decisions in the
interest of farmers, the first being the decision to make the farmers debt-free, to
provide them fair value for their labour and crop, and to ensure them their
rights. Resultantly, the rural economy remained strong; farmers had money even in
times of crisis, so there was a shortage of neither demand nor buyers in the
market’, he said.
He added that Chhattisgarh continued to flourish
even during pandemic. Later we made arrangements for input subsidy on crops
under Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojana. Debt relief gave whole new confidence
to the farmers, while input subsidy empowered them financially. In the last three
years, there has been a significant increase in the number of farmers in the
state, while the area under cultivation has also expanded, resulting in a remarkable hike in production.