‘It should be left to states (to implement FDI in retail). In the interest of farmers, we should go ahead with it’

The Idea Exchange

In this Idea Exchange moderated by Senior Assistant Editor Maneesh Chhibber, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda talks about his development agenda, revamping the Congress and the state's water dispute with Delhi

Maneesh Chhibber: You won a second term as chief minister of Haryana. To what would you attribute your victory?

It's not easy to secure a second term in Haryana. It is the first time since 1972 that the same party has returned to power for a second consecutive term, and the same person has become the chief minister. Congress won a second term because of one reason alone—people are now voting for development. Our target has been inclusive development in all areas, from infrastructure to sports. In per capita income, we are among the top states and we are at the top in per capita investment—in 2005, when I took over, we were number 14, now we are number one. In agriculture, both in production and productivity—wheat productivity, to be specific—we are the leader. When I took over, the political atmosphere was such that everybody was fearful, they were not ready to invest. The law and order situation was poor and there was no development. Also, you can judge a state's development by its Plan outlay. The Plan outlay of Haryana when I took over was around Rs 2,300 crore. Seven years later, I have presented a Plan budget of Rs 26,000 crore. This is because of inclusive development. I do not consider spending on education an expenditure, I call it an investment. This is the future. The world has become very small, and I think the real competition lies in education. We have also invested heavily in human resources. I have to make people employable as I create employment opportunities.

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