Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Saturday called on the people not to worry or be afraid of COVID-19 infection, as he vowed to build a 'welfare state' with development as the only mantra, while fighting the pandemic.
In his message to the people of the state on the occasion of 74th Independence Day, the Chief Minister while pointing out the challenges faced by rain, floods and drought along with COVID-19, also defended the reforms brought in by his administration.
He also remembered and paid tributes to all corona warriors, including the government machinery, private establishments, industrialists and volunteers who have been working relentlessly in these trying times.
'Our aim is to build a Kalyana Rajya (Welfare state) with the avowed principle of development as the only mantra.
While fighting the global pandemic Covid-19, we are taking giant strides towards realizing Mahatma Gandhis dream of building a Ram Rajya and will practise Rajadharma in true earnest,' Yediyurappa said.
Realising the responsibility thrust upon us and keeping in mind the welfare of people in these critical times, we have taken many pro-people decisions, he said, adding 'the people of the state have given complete support to the decisions that my government has taken. I am indebted to all of you.' It was a subdued Independence Day celebration in the state capital with no school children or public in attendance, only select invitees including elected representatives, officials, also some COVID warriors and those who have recovered from the infection were present.
Noting that Covid-19 was a global pandemic, a global scourge, the CM said this has affected not just the health sector, but continues to affect every single industry, and the pace of life that had slowed during the lockdown is slowly recovering now.
'I too was infected by the coronavirus, and I have fully recovered. I would like to send a message on this occasion that the people need not worry or be afraid of this infection,' he said.
The 77-year old leader was on Monday discharged after about 10 days in the hospital, following his recovery from the infection.
Besides record rain, floods and drought, the centurys most disruptive and dangerous pandemic, Covid-19 has posed huge challenges, Yediyurappa said with economic recession, job losses, loss of revenue to the government, and social and economic activities grinding to a halt, people of the state are in distress.
'Our government has implemented many schemes and projects to ensure peace, relief and tranquillity in society and help people see a ray of hope in this hour of gloom,' he said.
The Chief Minister said his government has been giving a boost to entrepreneurs through the Industrial Facilitation Act, which greatly improves the ease-of-doing business and encourages industrial development in the state.
Not just that, we have been encouraging the youth of the state to develop skills.
Along with that, rules have been simplified to purchase agricultural land that's required for industrial purposes, he said, adding that we have created an opportunity for both farmers and industrialists to mutually benefit from the direct purchase of land.
Also noting that the government has made big changes in the co-operative sector which is the backbone of the agriculture economy, Yediyurappa said, with an objective of allowing farmers to sell their produce at a market of their choice, the government has made changes to the APMC Act.
Opposition Congress and JD(S), also few organisations have been critical of government's ordinances amending land reforms, APMC and industries related laws, calling them anti farmer, people and labourers.
Highlighting measures taken by his government to remove regional imbalance and for the development of the backward Kalyana Karnataka region, Yediyurappa said airports in Bidar and Kalaburagi have commenced operations to encourage industrial activities in this region.
Work on setting up an airport in Shivamogga has gathered pace, and the government has given administrative approval to launch work on Karwar and Vijayapura airports, he said.
Observing that agriculture, welfare of backward classes and minorities are among the priorities of his government, the CM also said the Centre's Aatmanirbhar Scheme is a ray of hope for all of us, and as PM Narendra Modi has said, Karnataka too has been taking bold steps to convert every crisis into an opportunity.
Pointing to the talks held with more than 40 prominent companies during the World Economic Forum summit held in Davos, seeking their investment in Karnataka, he said, later during Covid-19 too we have approved 101 industrial projects worth Rs 27,000 crore at the state level.
Also complementing Prime Minister Modi for the construction of Ram Mandir at Ayodhya, Yediyurappa revealed his government's plans to build a Yatrinivas in Ayodhya for devotees from Karnataka who travel there.