Shivraj Singh Chouhan is the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, a state described as the heartland of India. 'India Investment Journal' caught up with him during a recent visit to London to lure UK investors and tourists to his state. Here are some highlights from the discussion.
There are lots of similarities between India and the UK. Both are great democracies and I found one other interesting similarity - the traffic of London in very similar to Delhi and Mumbai.
Today India is enthusiastically moving on the path of development and within that is the state of Madhya Pradesh - the heartland of India. There was a time when it was counted among the backward states of the country as there was a lack very basic amenities.
Today I am proud to say, continuously for eight years now the state has registered double digit growth rates. The agricultural growth rate is in fact even more unbelievable - at 20 per cent plus for four years, which is among the world's fastest in the sector.
We have had to work at a fast pace because we knew that if we want MP to break out of its backward tag, three aspects were crucial - roads, electricity and water. From a state suffering from power shortage at just 29,000MW, today we are at 80,000MW and counted among the surplus power states. We have worked on all forms of power - hydro, solar, wind and biomass. My message to foreign investors is to come and see for yourself that we have no shortage of power. Neither will they find any shortage of water as a result of our river linking programme. The state is at the forefront of implementing any new innovation.
We are attracting investments because we need revenue for the development of the state and create jobs. All big Indian companies have a presence in MP, from the field of healthcare and cement production to automotives, IT and food processing.
And why would you choose MP The answer is simple: because of our investor friendly policies. We have a ready land bank - 26,000 hectares is ready to be allocated and it can be done with great ease online.
The state offers a single window clearance policy and I have taken that a step further with a single table concept. Every Monday I sit down with investors across the table with my ministers and any issues or problems are solved right way. We are state with no history of labour disputes and abundant skilled manpower.
As I have often said, I am not the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh but the CEO of Madhya Pradesh - no investor will be disappointed on choosing MP.
Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, every state of India is trying to promote itself towards the larger goal of India's development. It gives me great pleasure when I see our states develop. We are working as a team with Prime Minister Modi.