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PM Modi urges states to maintain fiscal discipline, take prudent decisions

PM Modi urges states to maintain fiscal discipline, take prudent decisions

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said 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 attending 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 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.

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.

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, Nirmala Sitharaman and Piyush Goyal and chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Jharkhand, and Madhya Pradesh, among others, attended the meeting.

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, Bhagwant Mann, had also declared to boycott the Niti Aayog meeting.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday blamed the Centre for his inability to attend the Niti Aayog meeting on Saturday where he wished to raise issues like caste census and special status for the state. The JD(U) leader, whose party is boycotting the inauguration of the new Parliament building on Sunday, dubbed the function as an attempt to “change history by those who had made no contributions to the freedom struggle”.

Kumar, who was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a function to mark the death anniversary of first PM Jawaharlal Nehru, said: “When I received the schedule of the Niti Aayog meet I sought a change in the timings since it clashed with the function here.

“We have respected Pandit Nehru since our childhood, though politically I have pursued a different line,” said the veteran socialist leader, who now has the Congress as an ally.

“They (the Centre), however, did not agree to change the timing of the Niti Aayog meeting. Had they even agreed to hold the meeting in the afternoon, I would have been able to attend.

“We sent a few other names who could represent the state, which too was turned down. So, Bihar remained unrepresented,” Kumar said.

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.

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