Home/ News / India/  “We have raised annual income from 96,000 to 133,000 in just four years”: Baghel

Chhattisgarh’s Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel touted his government’s track record on boosting incomes and bringing economic development in the state. Speaking at the Mint India Public Policy Summit, Baghel stated that annual incomes in his state had shot up from 96000 rupees to 133,000 rupees per annum in just four years.

The state government’s focus on agricultural development is a key factor behind this, according to Baghel. He stated that his government’s support to farmers through the provision of input subsidies, increased government procurement and strong food prices had made agriculture a profitable proposition for farmers. Outside of agriculture, increasing incomes across various professions and economic sections has been a key focus for Baghel, who took office as Chief Minister in 2018.

“There should be an increase in everyone’s income regardless of whether they are labourers, farmers, women, youth, merchants or industrialists. Everyone should get an opportunity. It shouldn’t be that only farmers and labourers get opportunities. If an industrialist wants to set up an industry in Chhattisgarh, they should have the appropriate environment for that," Baghel said, while describing his government’s major policy priorities.

There have also been other successes, CM Baghel stated. The improvement in rural infrastructure and amenities, coupled with an increase in agricultural development, has led to a reverse migration in the state. While the state saw a trend of migration away from rural areas to urban climes, the tide has reversed with youth returning to rural areas due to an improvement in their prospects. The improvement in the state’s security situation, which has been locked in a fierce struggle with Naxalite insurgents, has also played a role in Chhattisgarh’s economic development.

“In the previous government, the policy on Naxals was a bullet for a bullet. However, the number of Naxals didn’t reduce; they increased. They were in three blocks and then spread to 14 districts. We changed that policy. We won people’s trust, then provided development and then provided security," Baghel said.

This people-centric approach, Baghel believes, helped curtail Naxalite influence in the state and change his state’s image in the national imagination. Baghel pointed to his government’s 2018 decision to return land that had been acquired by Tata Steel to its tribal owners. Although the acquisition had been made by Tata Steel, no industry had been set up. Afterwards, the state government helped develop the returned land, in what Baghel argues is an effective example of people-centric governance.

Baghel also pointed to the state’s campaign to reduce the incidence of malaria as a successful example of effective social policy that fed into the state’s larger success.

Chhattisgarh’s Chief Minister was also confident that the Indian National Congress would return to power after the state elections slated for later this year.

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Updated: 26 May 2023, 10:27 PM IST
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