MUMBAI. (GNI): CII Western Region held its Annual Regional Meeting in Mumbai today. Alongside the Conference – Building Competitiveness: Driving Development was also organised, which brought eminent speakers from industry, government and media on a common platform.
Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Chief Minister, Madhya Pradesh, while delivering the keynote address at the CII Western Region Annual Regional Meeting Special session on – Growth Transformation: The Madhya Pradesh Story said that the cycle of economic growth starts from agriculture sector and unless farmers prosper, demand for products manufactured by other sectors cannot really pick up.
Recognising the importance of agriculture, the state government focussed on enhancing irrigation capacities by undertaking river-linking projects, canal irrigation and encouraged ‘more crop, per drop’ initiatives in Madhya Pradesh. The state increased irrigated area from 7.5 lakh hectares to 40 lakh currently. This is expected to rise to 60 lakh in 2018. The state also provides interest-free loans to its farmers. The result is that in the last 4 years, the state’s agriculture sector output grew by 20%+, the highest in the world. The State Government is also making efforts to connect with individual villages to orient them on the roadmap to be followed in order to double farming incomes.
The state of Madhya Pradesh focussed on strengthening infrastructure to attract industry into the state. By using a combination of thermal, hydel and solar power generation sources, it has managed to become power surplus and achieved a capacity of 18,000 MW. The State government has set a target to connect all of its 53,000 villages by roads.
Mrs Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chairman, SBI, who was the Guest of Honour at the Conference while speaking at the inaugural session on the theme – India in the Next Decade: The Agenda for Development, said that there is a need for enhanced policy focus on agriculture sector as 50% of India’s people live of the land and they cannot be ignored. Citing the importance of agriculture-led growth model, she said that unless agriculture incomes increase, overall development cannot be seen across other sectors of the economy. She stressed on the urgent need to improve agricultural productivity to achieve the PM’s vision of doubling farm incomes by 2020.
Ms Bhattacharya also spoke elaborately about how digitisation has positively impacted lives of people in the demonetisation era. She cited the example of tea garden workers who experienced freedom for the first time in 200 years as they opened bank accounts post demonetisation. She said that unless digitisation is wide-spread and touches every life, people’s standard of living cannot improve. Ms Bhattacharya also touched upon the importance of providing education to the girl child during her talk.
Ritesh Agarwal, Founder, OYO Rooms, while talking at one of the sessions at the conference said that infrastructure plays an important role to create a way for consumerism to exist which will further growth. He said that technology plays an important role in information delivery and that while technology is an enabler of growth, transparency is the key factor that unleashes talent. He also stressed on the importance of training institutes educating students in such a way which can have practical applications.ends