The Government of Uttar Pradesh has worked out a Development Agenda for making governance smart, acccountable and corruption-free, says Alok Ranjan, Chief Secretary, Govt of Uttar Pradesh, in an interview with Nirav Soni of Elets News Network (ENN)
What are the recent major initiatives undertaken by the Government of Uttar Pradesh for development?
The Government of Uttar Pradesh is committed to the development of its people. To this end, we have formulated a development agenda comprising as many as 50 items cutting across the departments. We have identified crucial areas that we have to concentrate on. For example, in Education sector, we want to improve the quality of education, learning outcomes, attendance rate, teachers training, focus on the education of girl child, increase the rate of opening of new colleges and many more. Apart of these, we want to have greater amount of investment in Uttar Pradesh. We are enabling the environment to increase investment in the State, especially in the area of infrastructure. In our budget also we have increased the fund allocation in this area.
Further, we want to focus on energy, development of roads, irrigation, urban development and capital formation in the agriculture sector. Of these, energy sector is of vital importance. We have a plan, wherein we want to provide 16 hours of uninterrupted power across the rural areas and 22 hours of electricity supply to all district headquarters and major urban areas.
In roads segment, we want all district head quarters to be connected with four-lane roads. We are constructing a major Taj-Yamuna Express Highway, a 302-KM eightlane road connecting Lucknow and Agra, which will pass through entire central Uttar Pradesh for economic development. We are coming up with Lucknow Metro and also planning to take it to Kanpur, Varanasi and Meerut. These are some of the initiatives that we are undertaking for allround development of Uttar Pradesh.
We are an investor-friendly state. I want to underline that now we have an online single-window clearing system across the departments. No one needs to run from one department to another for the required clearances
Can you throw some light on the steps the Government is taking for the growth of IT and IT-enabled Services (ITeS) as well as the electronics manufacturing sector?
This area is of utmost important to us. We formulated an IT Policy in 2012 focussing especially on investments in the IT sector, and electronics development policy for facilitating for giving a boost to electronics manufacturing in the State.
As part of the policy, we are developing two major electronics clusters in Greater Noida and along the Yamuna Expressway for encouraging manufacturing activity. We are also developing an IT Park in Lucknow, where HCL is a major developer focussing on training and creating job opportunities. Also, we are coming up with Software Technology Parks (STPs) in Meerut, Agra, Kanpur and Gorakhpur.
With a view to making our governance more accountable and corruption free, we are working towards ensuring “Smart Governance” in the State. For that, we are going in a big way to introduce eGovernance in each and every department horizontally as well as vertically. For example, we have done commendable work in the area of commercial taxation and pension schemes. We have made details available online through Samajwadi Pension and Old Age Pension initiatives, and are transferring all benefits directly into the accounts of the beneficiaries. In fact, we have identified three important things — backend computerisation, frontend computerisation and facilitating public interface. For this, majorly we have identified key departments like municipal authorities, urban development authorities, and district administration. We hope that eGovernance will revolutionise the entire State of Uttar Pradesh.
Any message you would like to give to the investors planning to invest in the State?
We are an investor-friendly state. I want to underline that now we have an online single-window clearing system across the departments. No one needs to run from one department to another for the required clearances. One can visit ‘Udhyog Bandhu’ website and ‘Nivesh Mitra’ sites, where all forms are readily available. Interested entrepreneurs can apply, track as well as find responses to their respective applications online within a given time frame. We have made the officer concerned directly accountable for delays, if any.
We also have an enabling policy framework, wherein we are giving lots of exemptions and facilitations for making industrial investments in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Besides, we want to attract investments not only in the industrial sector, but also in education, healthcare, IT & ITeS. We encourage investments in social sector also. We call upon the investors to make investments and reap benefits in Uttar Pradesh.