Kerala Governor H. R. Bharadwaj told the Assembly on Thursday that government planned to take the State on the path of high economic growth and social development.

In his customary address to the first session of the Assembly in the calendar year, the Governor highlighted programmes for infrastructure development, development of sectors such as animal husbandry and fisheries and achievement of ‘zero waste’ in solid waste management.

The Governor said that the unifying and underlying theme of government’s vision for 2030 would be ‘Development and Care with Compassion’. Significant competitive advantage of the State in areas such as knowledge services, Ayurveda, skill development, tourism, information technology, and inland water ways and coastal transport would be used to leverage the State.

Mr. Bharadwaj noted that the mass contact programmes of the Chief Minister Oommen Chandy were a resounding success. However, the government had gone beyond the immediate task of providing quick relief, and was finding systemic and lasting solutions to problems discerned during the programmes.

Noting that the government was formulating a new industrial policy, the Governor said that a new model of public-private-panchayat partnership would be adopted for infrastructure development. The government would accord high priority for ensuring the quality of road networks besides taking up projects for development of high speed and mono rail networks and airports.

He announced that government would notify a comprehensive policy declaration that asserts the right of every woman to live with dignity and without fear. Swift response forces to handle crimes against women would be set up in major city corporations.

The government would also constitute a Child Rights Commission. It also proposed to systematically improve the infrastructure in schools. Free uniforms would be supplied to students of standards 2 to 8.

He said that the government intended to draw up an action plan to address environmental issues in industrial clusters. A technology innovation fund would be created for nurturing innovative initiatives in building technology. A new strategy of homestead irrigation would be drawn up for farmers.

The Governor also said that the government had plans to improve revenue mobilisation by rationalising the tax structure in an investor-friendly manner. The e-governance systems would be upgraded to make it compatible with the proposed Goods and Services Tax.

The Opposition interrupted the speech once saying that certain pronouncements of the Governor violated the code of conduct for by-election to the Assembly from Piravom constituency. Mr. Bharadwaj, who appeared tired of reading the long text towards the end, skipped some portions before concluding his speech, noting that they could be taken as read.