How CM Bhupesh Baghel is leading India on good governance
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Governments often boast of good governance in today’s welfare-conscious environment. We take a look at how the Chhattisgarh government of Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel fares on the parameters of good governance.
When we consider the achievements of Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel’s successful government in Chhattisgarh, one thing that stands out is two years of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Chief Minister took office three years ago, in December 2018. Like the world, two years of Covid-19 have also affected Chhattisgarh and its economy, but despite the massive challenge of a global pandemic, the government of Bhupesh Baghel has done extremely well on many metrics, including governance.
The Chhattisgarh Empowerment Model
Even during this time of downturns and contractions in the economies, Chhattisgarh is rapidly catching up with all the setbacks and pains of the recurring pandemic lockdowns and shutdowns. The Chief Minister’s emphasis on his model of empowering Chhattisgarh appears to have had a positive economic impact on the people of the state. As evidenced by people’s moods (in some recent surveys) and the pace at which businesses are getting back on track, what works in Chief Minister Baghel’s favor is that he has prioritized rural support needed at the height of Covid.
But state support has not been limited to rural areas; a prime example of the chief minister’s understanding of the financial stress facing the middle class, both urban and rural, can be seen in the halving of electricity bills. With a 50% subsidy on up to 400 units of electricity, approximately 4 million consumers have benefited.
Chhattisgarh industry is stronger than ever
The state government‘s new industrial policy has created a positive atmosphere, again despite the significant obstacles created by the pandemic. The state has seen 1,564 new industrial units established over the past three years and 30,000 new jobs have been created. This happened because the state received a whopping Rs 18,882 crore in investments.
Currently, 13 MoUs have been signed to organize the state’s bold industrial mission of bioethanol plants, through which capital funding of around Rs 2,202 crore is on offer. This would create more job opportunities in the ethanol, food, pharmaceutical, electronics, defense and photovoltaic sectors.
With 132 MoUs signed between January 1, 2019 and August 6, 2021, capital funding of Rs 58,950 crore is on offer which will provide jobs for another 78,000 people.
With Industrial Policy 2019-24, the Chhattisgarh government is focusing on a business-friendly ecosystem. So far, Chief Minister Baghel’s focus on self-employment and job creation has yielded good results. What is more important is that with high investments in the state, the future looks even better on the employment front.
Affordable medicines save lives
Health care is very important to the workforce, students and families. The state government has provided much-needed relief from the steadily rising prices of pharmaceuticals by providing the people with quality drugs at low prices. Shri Dhanvantari medical stores have successfully replaced expensive brand name drugs with more affordable generic drugs. Generics cost considerably less, as the average savings on generic drugs compared to brand name drugs can be as high as 50-70%.
Organic farming is a path to prosperity
Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyaya Yojana and Godhan Nyaya Yojana, designed to bring prosperity to millions of rural households, is now bearing fruit. Village life is experiencing a positive turnaround and farmers are returning to organic farming. Organic farming has reduced the cost of farming and helped increase yield. Both of these schemes allowed the government to transfer benefits directly to farmers. Cash transfer programs have helped strengthen the state economy.
Support the tribes
In the field of collection of forest products, Chhattisgarh has been the leading state in the country for the past three years. Although the state has a large forest-dependent community, efforts to financially empower the tribal population have worked well. The improvement in the financial situation of the tribes is evident. The state also received 11 awards in the collection and processing of forest products.
Millet mission and supply at record yield
The millet mission was one of Chief Minister Baghel’s favorite programs, and it had a strong impact among farmers. The minimum support price (MSP_offered on the yields of Kodo Kutki and Raagi farmers expect better returns for their products.
In 2020-21, Chhattisgarh purchased a record amount of wheat – over 92 metric tons. Chhattisgarh also received the Krishi Karnan reward for the maximum production of food grains.
Holistic approach for the rural economy
Public programs aimed at creating financially independent rural households were created with a holistic approach to micro-development. The programs have been designed to create a full circle of economic activities from; loans for domestic animals or commodity-based businesses, the creation of village ecosystems of cow dung use as organic fertilizer, the development of vegetable gardens for all rural households, and government support for access to the markets. Bap uke Suraj Gaon or model villages based on Gandhi’s swaraj model effectively bring about holistic change in villages. In fact, these villages are exactly the kind of attraction that any tourist will also love to see.
But how do you judge the pride and self-respect of the marginalized tribal population? It can be measured if they do not remain marginalized and are not included in mainstream economic activity. In these difficult times, it is an excellent scale to measure a state’s standards of governance. Thus, the most significant achievement of the good governance of the government of Bhupesh Baghel was that its three years of projects gave the tribal people a strong sense of pride and self-respect by creating financially strong rural families.