New Delhi: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan called movements and protests the mark of a democracy at the News18 Rising India Summit on Friday.
Addressing the farmer protests that had rippled through Madhya Pradesh in 2017, Chouhan said that despite the measures his government had taken, a bumper harvest reduced the price of crops and produce.
However, he added, any farmer getting below minimum support price (MSP) for their crops, are paid the difference by the government.
“We’re focussing on securing livelihood of our farmers,” said Chouhan, “only then will Madhya Pradesh's GDP go up.”
The MP government, he said took all measures for farmers benefits, such as making sure water reservoirs were full. But the prices crashed after a bumper harvest in 2017. In reaction, Chouhan had announced Rs 1, 000 crore price stabilisation fund in for future such scenarios, where prices crash following a bumper crop.
Yes not all has translated on the ground,” admitted Chouhan, “we had signed MOUs for agriculture worth Rs 5 lakh crore, and only Rs 2 lakh crore are on ground.”
But at least that much has happened, he emphasized. Quoting Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, he said that the most backward into the state was the most important for the government. “My heart beats for Madhya Pradesh,” said Chouhan. The government has now got 40 lakh hectares under cultivation, provides 24 hour electricity, has a capacity of the 18000 megawatts, he listed of all that's gone well for Madhya Pradesh.
Agriculture, however, is not the only card the MP government has to play. “Skill development and MSME [micro, small and medium enterprises] are also very important for us,” added Chouhan, referring to the PM's focus on skill development.