Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Sunday invited industrialists to invest in the state but with a rider that their ventures should benefit local people.
Interacting with foreign diplomats, industrialists, policy analysts and thinkers in New Delhi, the CM said the past industrialization in the mineral-rich state did not benefit local populace particularly the tribals and that led to their alienation.
“When you set up an industry there, please also keep in mind the interest of the local people. If they are not incorporated in the growth story, naturally there will be some local resistance,” he said in reply to a specific question from an industrialist.
In this regard, he said his government would prefer to have small agro-based industries which would directly benefits local farmers by making value addition to their produces.
The CM also expressed his reservation in further exploring state’s mineral resources. “ Pura rajya hi khod diyen hein, aur kitna khodenge (The entire state has been dug up, how much more do you want to dig,” he asked.
Raising environment and public health concern, he further stated that his government would not like to go for any large scale mining, particularly the uranium.
He said even the state’s development projects should be worked out taking local people into confidence. “When we build roads or school buildings without taking people into confidence, local tribals think those projects are meant for movement of security forces and sheltering them. There is a trust deficit and we need to overcome it.”