I am delighted to join all of you on this platform at the Odisha Nirman Conclave hosted by Kanak News. I thank the Sambad Group, one of the largest media houses of the state, for coming up with this idea of debate and discussion on the development of Odisha .
Debate and discussion is the hallmark of democracy. It brings issues of current times that need to be addressed, and set the tone for future needs. It is more so significant when we talk development rather than hovering around fragile issues that does not go down well for a vibrant democracy.
Coming to the issues of Odisha, I can say with confidence that we have come far away from a phase of instable economy with a high poverty index to a phase of economic resurgence with continuous improvement in various development indicators.
Our growth rate has been consistently remained higher than national average for last several years barring this pandemic hit period
. Between 2011-12 and 2017-18, our economy expanded at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 10.30 percent. This year in January our GST collection has shown a growth of 25.30 per cent indicating our economic resilience.
Odisha continues to be the top investment destination in the country. The mood for business and industries is better in Odisha for our industry-friendly policy frameworks, a dedicated team to facilitate investors’ needs, and deft handling of the pandemic.
Our management of Covid-19 pandemic has been one of the most effective among states.
Long before the threat perception was realized at the national level, we could see the imminent danger and sprang into action with awareness campaign through the people’s representatives, and putting in place all the necessary protocols and guidelines.
We provided free treatment for all the Covid positive cases by building massive Covid care infrastructures in the entire state.
On this occasion, I again appeal to the people not to lower guard, follow the protocols, as the fear of a second wave is looming large.
In the year 2000, when we came to serve the people of Odisha, we focused on securing people’s life from the vagaries of frequent natural calamities.
Today we are a model state in disaster management even attracting global recognition.
Women empowerment is a key indicator of higher sustainable growth.
Now, women in Odisha are increasingly contributing to rural economy, taking charge of institutions, and running different government run programmes more efficiently. Not only that; encouraging stories of achievements by our people in different sectors from farming to entrepreneurship, sports, art, cinema and many other sectors have become a regular phenomenon
. I see a sharp rise in self-confidence of people to achieve success in life and contribute to society.
Education has been a priority area of my government all along.
odisha is now dotted with educational institutions across the length and breadth of the State with focus on quality education . Thousands of schools and hostels have also been built for tribal children . We have now institutions of eminence in higher education in most of the streams. Our efforts to open medical colleges at district levels have made huge progress with availability of quality healthcare at local level and meeting the shortfall of doctors.
To make our youngsters employable, we have started quality skill education with our ITIs and Polytechnic institutions providing world class skill. The World Skill Centre in Bhubaneswar clearly underlines our vision for the future
The Five-T Initiative has now become symbol of good governance. All the state government departments are now ready with digital mechanisms to provide service to people without human interface bringing transparency and efficiency to the system.
Mo Sarkar has been quite effective in bringing attitudinal changes among government employees and strengthening the true spirit of democratic governance.
The narrative of Odisha is changing. We are on a path of resurgence.Odisha scripting new stories of success in almost all fields . We need partnership of all sections of society to realize the ambition of a prosperous state where people have all the opportunities to fulfill their dreams, exercise their rights freely, and carry out their responsibilities without fear or favour.
Media certainly has a bigger role in setting the agenda for the future of Odisha. I seek the cooperation of all.
Bondey Utkal Janani.