Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that the Centre, states and Union Territories need to work as a team and develop a long-term common vision to fulfil the aspirations of people to make India a developed country by 2047, when the country completes 100 years of Independence. Addressing the eighth Governing Council meeting of NITI Aayog here, Modi also urged the states to maintain fiscal discipline and take financially prudent decisions which are capable of delivering programmes that meet the aspirations of the people. The Prime Minister urged the states to proactively use the Gati Shakti Portal not only for infrastructure and logistics but also for local area development and creation of social infrastructure.
Briefing media about the deliberations of the meeting, NITI Aayog CEO BVR Subrahmanyam said that chief ministers and Lt Governors of 19 states and six UTs attended the meeting.
However, chief ministers of 11 states — Punjab, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Delhi, Telangana, Odisha, West Bengal, Kerala, Manipur and Rajasthan — did not attend the meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog. It was also the first formal meeting at the newly-constructed Convention Centre at Pragati Maidan which later in the year will host G20 Summit.
In his address to the Governing Council, the Prime Minister said that it was essential to combine the vision of states and districts with the national vision to reach the goal of Vikasit Bharat by 2047. “At #NITIAayog’s #8thGCM, PM @narendramodi stated that when states grow, India grows. He also emphasised the importance of evolving a common vision to achieve a #VikasitBharat @ 2047,” NITI Aayog said in a series of tweets. Modi asked the States and UTs to work with NITI Aayog so that the country can take a quantum leap towards achieving its vision for the Amrit Kaal.
The Prime Minister said that “good governance is key to achieving Viksit Bharat @ 2047”. “You can’t have vision only at the national level. You need to have vision at states and district levels…Every state and local area should have vision for the next 25 years and they can work closely with the centre,” he said. The Prime Minister also urged the states to take financially prudent decisions which would make them fiscally strong and capable of undertaking programmes for the welfare of citizens. “PM @narendramodi urged States to take financially prudent decisions so as to become fiscally strong and capable of delivering programmes that meet the dreams of citizens,” the Aayog said in another tweet.
Subrahmanyam said that the Prime Minister stressed, “We should not be profligate. Funds should be used judiciously… because you do not want to overburden future generations.” Outlining various global and domestic challenges before the economy, Modi said it is not going to be easy. “There will be a large number of challenges…the world economy is unpredictable, geopolitics is changing. Within the country, you have regional imbalances… all of that is there, we need to address those with team India spirit,” Subrahmanyam quoted Modi as saying.
“There is a global opportunity you need to catch that… whole world is focused on India and that is very very important,” Modi told the meeting. The Prime Minister said that he has preponed the Union budget and states should utilise the funds in time. According to an official statement, chief ministers/Lt. Governors gave various policy-level suggestions. They mentioned specific issues pertaining to the states which require Centre-State cooperation, it added. Some of the key suggestions and best practices highlighted by them included opting for green strategies, a need for zone-wise planning, tourism, urban planning, agriculture, quality of workmanship, and logistics, among others.
The Prime Minister said NITI Aayog will study the states’ concerns, challenges, and best practices and subsequently plan the way forward. He said that NITI Aayog can play a critical role in helping States to develop their strategies for the next 25 years and align the same with the National Development Agenda. Speaking at the meeting, Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren said the state has immense possibilities for investment in infrastructure, and his government was making constant efforts in this direction.
Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel urged the Centre to make a “permanent arrangement” to compensate for the revenue loss suffered by states due to the GST regime and demanded a refund of Rs 19,000 crore deposited in the New Pension Scheme. Gujarat chief minister Bhupendra Patel said his government has set a target to generate 100 GW of renewable energy under its green hydrogen mission. Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde mentioned his government was focussing on infrastructure development as connectivity was important for progress and was working at removing speed breakers put in the way of projects by the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi dispensation.
Himachal Pradesh chief minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu sought the Centre’s directions to the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) to return Rs 9,242 crore deposited under the National Pension Scheme (NPS) by the state government. NITI Aayog’s eighth Governing Council meeting deliberated on several issues including, health, skill development, women empowerment and infrastructure development, with an aim to make India a developed nation by 2047.
Union ministers Amit Shah, Niramala Sitharaman and Piyush Goyal and chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Jharkhand, and Madhya Pradesh, among others, attended the meeting.
On 11 CMs not attending the meeting Subrahmanyam said,” It may be because of their personal reasons. This is a forum where the centre and states jointly deliberate on issues. Those who do not attend miss the rich deliberation.” The NITI Aayog CEO also said the government think tank will be creating NITI Aayog type institutions in all 35 states and UTs. AAP supremo and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, and announced boycotting the NITI Aayog meeting over the Centre’s recent ordinance and charged that “cooperative federalism” in the country was being turned into a “joke”.
The Chief Minister of the AAP-ruled Punjab, Bhagawant Mann, had also declared to boycott the Niti Aayog meeting. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in 2019 skipped the Niti Aayog meeting, saying that the think-tank had no power and the meetings were “fruitless”. Generally, the full council meeting happens every year and last year, it was held under the chairmanship of Modi on August 7. The council meeting was not convened in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The first meeting of the council took place on February 8, 2015.