Winning an election is a challenge, but reforming a ruined state is a bigger challenge. It is important for the people of Haryana to know that the BJP has inherited a state in ruins. Haryana is a mess in not just economic terms but by way of morale as well. Corruption, favouritism, nepotism and lack of desire to work, has seeped in all arms of the state.
Over the years, honest government officials have been sidelined, while corrupt ones had been drafted into positions of power. The result has seen morale amongst public servants, at its lowest. This is what we have inherited from the previous regime.
Captain Abhimanyu, as the Finance Minister, has been given the responsibility to take the lead in restructuring the stateï¿½s finances and putting Haryana back on the path of growth and development.
This is not going to be an easy task, not when he has inherited a debt of Rs 81,000 crore. This is a result of sheer mismanagement and misappropriation of public money by the previous regime and now the onus is on Captain Abhimanyu to salvage the state from debt.
The challenges facing the new administration are many. But the administration has to focus on some of the burning issues that require immediate attention and they are:
Need for austerity and financial prudence
Given the size of the debt the state finds itself in, the new administration realises the need for financial prudence and the need to curtail wasteful expenditure. While it is still early days, it is imperative for the state to conduct an immediate review of the financial situation of all departments and set up a time line for redressal of all pending payments.
This is a time for all stakeholders in the state government to jointly curb excess expenditure. One of the areas where curbs can be introduced is by reducing unnecessary travelling by air in first and business class. While it is necessary to fly, a simple act of curtailing the class can help the state save significant amount of money.
The same goes for five star hotel accommodation, entertainment of VIPs and unnecessary deployment of government staff, to organise functions etc, must be brought down immediately.
Officials are notorious for deploying state owned vehicles for their personal use and their families. All these must be checked. Every department must be encouraged to effect a certain minimum percentage of expenditure reduction.
At a larger level, government procurement of electricity and water usage must be rationalised to optimise resource deployment. Unless all stakeholders realise the need for curbs on wasteful expenditure, the state will not be able to prosper.
Attracting investment and job creation
Due to unfriendly policies of the Hooda administration and the fact that they ruled the state for two terms, ensured the state lost several opportunities to facilitate investment into the state. During the boom years, several states like MP, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh andBihar, saw several large projects being initiated. Haryana was bogged down with bureaucratic red tape and corruption at all levels that put off serious businesses, which kept away from the state.
So one of the first steps the BJP administration has taken up is to give out a clear message to the investor community that Haryana means business and the best way to demonstrate its intent was to bring in a Fast Track Clearance System.
This is a single window service for any new business to be incorporated, along with all necessary permissions. This initiative on part of the new administration is already being well received and we should see an increase in investor interest and subsequent investment into the state.
Unfortunately, it is the people of Haryana, especially the youth, which has suffered the most. Lack of investment means lack of job openings and the youth that would have been employed in the last 8-10 years, would have been well settled into their lives by now. But they still remain unemployed.
BJP on its part is committed to ensuring that the right business environment is created that can truly harness the potential of the youth in the state. The coming time will see opportunities opening up, both within the government and the private sector.
Revamping the health infrastructure and services
The new administration is appalled to see the present condition of the existing medical facilities, across public health centres in the state. The entire medical system is in a mess and one can understand the resentment that the people feel against the former regime.
The standard of health care provided by the state health department requires a major overhaul. All areas require urgent focus starting with medical staff recruitment and training, revamping of the pharmaceutical availability and distribution at the Community Health Centres, maintenance and upkeep of existing medical equipments and procurement of the latest medical equipments for critical care.
It is not just the public sector but the private ones also that require an upgradation in standard and the government must improve the coordination with the private hospitals, to ensure a minimum quality of medical care is available to the people.
Developing state infrastructure
A prerequisite to attracting investment into any state is the need to establish an efficient infrastructure without which no business can prosper.
Power generation and distribution
The state is starved for power and one of the first priorities will be to augment the power availability to the state during peak periods. The state has to revamp the functioning of the State Electricity Board, to ensure greater efficiency in power distribution and maintenance is achieved.
The power transmission system including maintenance of sub stations and transformers, at the consumer level has to improve. The state has to encourage more investment in power generation units to come up within the state.
Revamping of road infrastructure
The state has suffered enough on account of extremely poor condition of roads in the state. Good roads and access remain the first demand for any business and the Hooda administration has neglected this vital area all these years. BJP plans to correct this on priority.
The state has to improve coordination with NHAI for the completion of all national highways running through the state, prioritise and focus on improving the condition of state highways and subsequently work on all connecting roads to the interior parts of the state.
The internal road development in villages, block and district level can be undertaken under the respective budgets and the respective panchayats will be encouraged to supervise the same.
Drinking water availability
The previous administration did very little in this very vital area that directly impacts people's health. BJP is committed to giving due priority to this vital area and improve the last mile distribution of drinking water to the people.
Very little was done in this area by the Hooda administration, which was totally focused on creating high end residential projects for the super-rich and ignored the ordinary citizen. Our party is trying to understand the state of affairs left behind by the previous government and we hope to bring back focus on affordable housing for the people. We are committed to that.
There are several other areas like education, child & women welfare, development of backward classes and minorities, sports etc. that the state has started working on and action on the same will be seen in times to come.
The 10 years of Hooda administration has left the state in ruins and the state debt has shot up to Rs 81,000 crore, which means that there is very little money to immediately spend on all the above mentioned areas. The people of Haryana must understand the present situation and challenge that our administration is facing.
However, the people of Haryana have unambiguously placed their faith in BJP and we assure you that the party will not let down the people. We have already started to work on a detailed roadmap for revival of the state covering all sectors and the coming times will see our plans turn into action.
Meanwhile, let us all believe in ourselves and our ability to come together and jointly work towards building a Naya Haryana.