New Delhi: Collecting yet another trophy at the national level, Himachal Pradesh was declared best state in reducing poverty by India Today in its annual survey – States of States-2007. Himachal has also been adjudged third best state for the fourth consecutive year.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh received the award from Vice-president Hamid Ansari at a function organised in Hotel Taj Man Singh on Friday. The state has maintained its position consecutively for the last four years due to successful implementation of rural development and social welfare programmes. According to the survey, poverty has decreased by 18.80% in the state during the last one year. Among big states, Himachal Pradesh has less than 10% of its population below poverty line.
Himachal has also been declared second-most peaceful state among northern states, while it has been ranked fourth-most peaceful state in the country. It has been adjudged second-best state in the country in health, education, infrastructure, consumer market & budget and prosperity in the category of big states. The state has been ranked third in investment environment.
While speaking at the function, chief minister Virbhadra Singh emphasised the need to evolve political consensus for all national programmes like rural development, poverty alleviation, etc, and added that these programmes lose thrust with change of governments due to political differences.
The Chief Minister also asked for training youths in technical spheres to avail the opportunities being generated in the private sector. He also stressed the need to set up high technical institutions and centres of excellence in various parts of the country.