Bury differences for sake of growth: PM to CMs
Modi during the first meeting of the governing council of National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) also suggested that a nodal officer be identified in state governments to monitor and ensure a smooth resolution of pending issues so as to expedite project implementation.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee skipped the meet, but Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, who is facing a political turmoil back home, was present. Others who attended the meeting included Akhilesh Yadav (Uttar Pradesh), Tarun Gogoi (Assam), Parkash Singh Badal (Punjab), O Panneerselvam (Tamil Nadu), Oommen Chandy (Kerala) and Virbhadra Singh (Himachal Pradesh), as well as Chief Ministers from BJP ruled states.
The recently constituted NITI Aayog has replaced the six-decade old Planning Commission as a think-tank for Centre and state governments and also to suggest policy direction. The Prime Minister is the chairperson of the new body. During the meeting Modi identified “alleviation of poverty” as the biggest challenge before the county and said “the newly formed body will forge a model of co-operative and competitive federalism.” He added,“Forgetting all our differences, let us focus on the cycle of investment, growth, job creation and prosperity.” Modi announced constitution of three sub-groups comprising Chief Ministers to suggest rationalisation of 66 central schemes, on skill development and to sustain the Clean India campaign.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters, “He (Modi) mentioned that the priorities are growth, investment, jobs, poverty alleviation, decentralisation, efficiency and no delay in execution of projects.” On the constitution of three sub-groups of Chief Ministers, Jaitley said the first group would identify which of the 66 centrally sponsored schemes could continue and which could be cut down or transferred to states. The second sub-group relates to human resource development,” he said.