Bhopal: US Ambassador in India Richard R. Verma met Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan here today and held discussions on issues like investment possibilities, women’s empowerment and religious freedom in Madhya Pradesh.
Chouhan told the US Ambassador in India that tillrecently – a decade ago – Madhya Pradesh was counted among the backward states of India. The scenario has now changed and the state is maintaining growth rate in double digits and has registered, perhaps, the highest agriculture growth rate in the world.
The Chief Minister informed the US diplomat that unprecedented water conservation works have been undertaken in Madhya Pradesh and there is a target to irrigate 60 lakh hectares. Availability of water has increased due to maintenance of small and big water structures and especially due to efforts aimed at meeting the goal of water conservation.
Discussing community participation-based development, Chouhan said that the government and people work in close coordination in the state. Referring to the recently concluded Simhastha festival at Ujjain, the Chief Minister informed Richard Verma that due to cooperation of people 80 million devotees visited Ujjain. He informed that a campaign will be launched with public cooperation to rejuvenate rivers in the State. Rivers like Narmada do not draw water from glaciers but they are charged by the green cover and forests in the catchment area. Therefore, it has been decided that large number of saplings will be planted within one kilometer of both the banks of the Narmada with people’s cooperation. The Farmers have been urged to plant saplings of fruit-bearing trees, the Chief Minister said adding that they will be given adequate compensation till these trees start bearing fruits.
The Chief Minister informed the US Ambassador that a series of seminars, coinciding with the Simhasth festival, were held on global issues like climate change, global warming and religion for the sake of human welfare and value-based life. The series concluded with international Vichar Kumbh during Simhastha.
Global Investors Summit at Indore
Talking about the huge potential for investment in the state, the Chief Minister informed Richard Verma that a Global Investors Summit will be held in Indore from October 21 to 23 this year and invitations are being sent to American investors. Chouhan said that India and US have ideological similarities on several issues like climate change and terrorism.
Immense possibilities in green energy sector
During discussions with the State Chief Minister, Richard said that Indo-US ties have been cemented. Both countries wish to move ahead jointly in every sector. Lauding economic and social sector development in Madhya Pradesh, he said that there are immense possibilities to work jointly in the clean and green energy sector. The Chief Minister informed him that the world’s biggest ultra-mega solar power plant of 750 MW capacity is being set up in Rewa in eastern MP. Asia’s biggest 135 MW solar energy plant has already been set up in Neemuch. Rewa’s plant would start functioning in next two years, the Chief Minister said.
The Chief Minister also informed the US Ambassador that a new policy has been chalked out keeping in view investment potential in defence production sector. He also said that single-window system has been implemented for immediate land allotment, inspection of factories and completion of administrative formalities. He said that this has further increased investors’ trust in the state government since they have got considerable help in setting up their projects.
Referring to state government’s initiative on climate change issue, the Chief Minister said that special attention has been paid to sustainable use of natural resources and promotion of organic farming. The government wishes to make Madhya Pradesh an ideal state for efforts to overcome climate change.
Discussing efforts for women’s empowerment, Chouhan said that gender ratio in Madhya Pradesh is improving. Mindset towards birth of girls has changed. The state government has made all arrangements for girls education and marriage. Women have been given 50 percent reservation in local bodies. Schemes like Ladli Laxmi have supported poor families. Percentage of institutional delivery has increased from 22 to 82 per cent. Madhya Pradesh is the pioneer state in the country to undertake maximum women’s empowerment initiatives.
Discussing issue of religious freedom, the Chief Minister informed the American diplomat that festivals of all religions are celebrated at the official residence of the chief minister. People following different faiths, religions and sects co-exist peacefully, he said adding that those belonging to the Muslim community had opened their doors and given shelter to devotees in mosques when a storm had hit Ujjain during Simhastha. Richard responded with a word of praise for cultural diversity and communal amity in the state.
State Industries Minister Yashodhara Raje Scindia, Chief Secretary Anthony de Sa, Principal Secretary Industries Mohammad Suleman and Principal Secretary to CM S.K. Mishra were present.