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Devendra Fadnavis ensures welfare of farmers, backward classes

The Maharashtra government will push forward various welfare initiatives taken up for farmers and socially backward classes in the state, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said today.

The BJP-led government is also committed towards the development of industries in Maharashtra, Fadnavis said after hoisting the national flag at the state secretariat here on the 72nd Independence Day.

He lauded the state government’s flagship water conservation scheme which, he said, has helped in dealing with water woes of people in 16,000 drough-affected villages.

Now, the government intends to provide benefits of this micro-irrigation project, called ‘Jalyukt Shivar’, to 25,000 more villages, he said.

The scheme involves deepening and widening of streams, construction of cement and earthen stop dams, and digging of farm ponds, to make the state free of drought by next year.

Fadnavis said the state government has “done well” towards the empowerment of marginalised people and has introduced various social and welfare initiatives for the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes, Fadnavis said.

“This is the state of Shahu, Phule and Ambedkar where all are treated equally,” he said, referring to social reformers Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj, Jyotirao Phule and the architect of the Indian Constitution, Dr B R Ambedkar.

“We must progress at all costs and that is why we have focused equally on all sections of society, in all the areas of the state, be it urban or rural,” he said.

The state is marching ahead to achieve its part of the nationwide ‘Housing for All by 2022’ Mission, he said.

Maharashtra has steadfastly worked on all schemes launched by the Centre and has done “exceedingly well” in initiatives like the ‘Swachh Bharat’ and ‘Swachh City’, on the livable city index and in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), the chief minister said.

Notably, Pune, Navi Mumbai and Greater Mumbai from Maharashtra have been ranked India’s three most livable places on the government’s ‘Ease of Living Index’, released earlier this week by the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry.

“Maharashtra has witnessed a quantum jump in attracting investments. Around 42 per cent to 47 per cent of the total investments in the country were actualised in the state alone,” he said.

Besides, Maharashtra has been generating employment on a large scale, he said.

The EPFO (Employees Provident Fund Organisation) figures prove that the state generated the maximum number of jobs, around eight lakh, last year, Fadnavis said.

Referring to other initiatives taken for farmers, he said the BJP-led state government purchased food grains (from cultivators) worth a record of Rs 8,000 crore in the last three years.

The previous (UPA) government had only spent Rs 450 crore in 15 years on the purchase of food grains, he said, adding that “this proves our commitment for the well-being of farmers.

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