PM bats for simultaneous polls, changing fiscal to Jan-Dec
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday pitched for conducting simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and the state assemblies and shifting to a January- December fiscal year.
Addressing the Niti Aayog Governing Council's third meeting, which was attended by several state chief ministers, Modi said for long, India had suffered from economic and political mismanagement.
"Because of poor time management, many good initiatives and schemes had failed to deliver the anticipated results," he said, adding there is a need to develop robust arrangements that could function amidst diversity.
The prime minister called for carrying forward the debate and discussions on holding simultaneous elections to Parliament and state legislatures.
On the Goods and Services Tax (GST), Modi asked the states to make legislative arrangements "without delay" for the rollout of the indirect tax regime from July 1.
The GST, which will subsume central excise, service tax, Value Added Tax (VAT) and other local levies, is scheduled to be rolled out from July 1.
The consensus on GST reflects the spirit of 'one nation, one aspiration, one determination', Modi earlier said in his opening remarks at the meeting.
Referring to the change in the budget dates, he said in a country where agricultural income is exceedingly important, budgets should be prepared immediately after the receipt of agricultural incomes for the year.
He added that there have been suggestions to follow January to December as financial year.
The prime minister asked the states to take the initiative in this regard. Currently, India follows April- March as fiscal year.
Later, briefing reporters about the meeting, Niti Aayog vice chairman Arvind Panagariya said the prime minister wants that "we should think of January-December financial year as this is appropriate from the point of view of farmers".
Modi also urged states, local governments and NGOs to decide goals for 2022 and work in mission mode towards achieving them.
Referring to the issue of regional imbalance, which was raised by a number of chief ministers, Modi said the matter needs to be addressed on priority, both nationally, and within states.
Take care of students from J&K: PM to CMs
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday urged all Chief Ministers to take care of students from Jammu and Kashmir in their respective states, a remark that assumes significance in view of some recent untoward incidents against them.
Modi's advice at a meeting with Chief Ministers here came after Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti raised the issue.
At the meeting of the NITI Aayog Governing Council, Modi "seconded" Mehbooba's suggestion that states should take interest in the students from Jammu and Kashmir who are studying in other states. The Prime Minister "urged states to reach out to these students (of J&K) from time to time", said a statement by the PMO quoting Modi's concluding remarks.
This comes days after six Kashmiri students of Mewar University in Rajasthan were thrashed by some locals there.