NITI Aayog: States demand greater financial devolution, flexibility

Demands for greater devolution of funds to States from non-NDA Chief Ministers dominated the first meeting of the Governing Council of NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired the meeting on 7 February 2015, at his 7 Race Course Road residence.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam pitched for higher flow of funds from the Centre to the States and demanded that States’ share of funding of flagship programmes be limited to 25 per cent only.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav sought 90 per cent grants for central schemes saying Prime Minister Modi’s new mantra of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ was not possible without provision of adequate resources to economically weaker States.

Kerela Chief Minister Oommen Chandy demanded that the Aayog continue with the functions the erstwhile Planning Commission performed — of determining, in consultation with the Union Finance Ministry and State Governments, the amount of resources to be made available to the States for Plan and Budget preparation.

Noting that India cannot advance without all its States advancing in tandem, the Prime Minister said that he envisioned different States competing with each other in promoting governance initiatives, in a spirit of cooperative, competitive federalism. Mr. Modi said that though the world had started looking at India differently, the biggest challenge for the country still was how to eliminate poverty. He said jobs cannot be created, and poverty cannot be removed without growth. “First and foremost we should aim at a high rate of growth,” he said.

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Via The Hindu



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