Raipur: On Tuesday Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a strong pitch for development saying it is the only way to solve the problems that India is facing and urged state governments and local governing bodies to work in tandem to make the country poverty-free.
He also said skilled youth can pull themselves out of poverty and help fuel the engine of growth.
"Development in all spheres is the one and only way to solve the problems faced by the country. In the states wherever we are getting an opportunity, and in the country, we are trying hard to move ahead on the path of development with full commitment. The full stress of our government is on uplift of poor," he told a gathering on the opening ceremony of Chhattisgarh Rajyotsav - the 16th foundation day celebrations at Naya Raipur.
Pitching for empowerment of the poor, he said, "The Centre, states, municipalities and panchayats should work together to eradicate poverty. We have to work shoulder-to- shoulder to tackle the menace."
He said the Centre is observing 2016 which is Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay's birth centenary year as Garib Kalyan Varsh for the uplift of the poor.
Linking skilling with his 'Make in India' initiative, the prime minister said people with sufficient skills can help boost the country's economy.
"Poor youth with sufficient opportunities, training, skills and tools can pull themselves and others out of
poverty," he said.
He pointed out the government's initiative on skill development that is helping youths to enhance their capability and skill.
"The country has large youth population. They have immense power and if they get opportunity they can change the world. Making them, particularly the poor, skilled will help them shape their future and enhance their dignity," he said.
On the issue of Centre-state relations, Modi said the government believes in cooperative federalism, where states compete with each other in implementing new schemes.
"The Centre wants a healthy competition among the states in the areas of development and better performance, assuring that his government is committed to support and encourage each and every state for their development," he said.
He also said the Centre will not discriminate among states in providing funds for development.
Underlining the importance of value addition for the economic development of farmers in the country, he said, "The Centre wants the farmers should get high production and better price for their produces. Besides, value addition can also helps the farmer in a great way. Chhattisgarh has taken up good initiatives that enable value addition for farmers."
Talking about government schemes, Modi said, "The Centre and state governments run several schemes, but most people do not have information about them. Mothers don't know about vaccination for their child due to illiteracy. In view of that, the Centre has launched 'Mission Indradhanush' Scheme to cover all the children, who were left out or missed out on immunisation, in every nook and corner."
"Similarly, the Centre has floated Ujjwala scheme to empower women of poor household and protect their health. In the next three years, LPG connections will be provided under the scheme to five crore families," he said, adding this scheme is purely meant to make the country poverty-free.
Referring to the new crop insurance scheme launched by the Centre, he said there is a need to make agriculture more viable so that even a small piece of land can yield more.
Appreciating the concept of jungle safari he inaugurated here, he said states with ecotourism potential can help provide employment to a large section of people.
He said value addition to the produce of farmers was another way to help enhance their earning. During his visit to the jungle safari, Modi also clicked pictures of a tiger in the zoo.
Earlier in the day, he dedicated to people the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) developed under public transport service facility between Raipur and Naya Raipur.
Thereafter, he unveiled a statue of Jan Sangh idealogue Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay here and dedicated the two-km-long 'Ekatm Path' constructed between Naya Raipur railway station and Capitol Complex.
The Prime Minister also launched 'Saur Sujala Yojana' which aims to provide solar pumps to 51,000 farmers for irrigation in state.
Lauding Chief Minister Raman Singh for his development initiatives and schemes, he said states like Chhattisgarh, which have potential for ecotourism, can generate employment by investing little capital in its development.
"I visited jungle safari and Ekatma Path. Chief Minister (Raaman Singh) was telling me about all these development projects... I see great scope for tourism in Chhattisgarh. It shows how a relatively smaller state which is Naxal-affected can achieve heights of development in a short span of time," he said adding that its impact will benefit generations to come.
"At investment far less than what is required for setting up an industrial unit, concepts like jungle safaris can be big money spinners for small states like Chhattisgarh," he said.
Modi said others indirectly involved with ecotourism like autorickshaw drivers, fruit sellers and 'chai wallahs' can enhance their earning.