Prime Minister Narendra Modi is chairing NITI Aayog’s fifth governing council meeting at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday spelt out his government’s vision 2024 at the NITI Aayog’s fifth governing council meeting at Rashtrapati Bhavan. In his opening remarks, he said the goal to make India a 5 trillion dollar economy by 2024, was challenging, but achievable. He also underscored the role of state governments in developing the economy, saying their focus should be on the promotion of export. This is the first meeting of the NITI Aayog after the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance formed a new government at the centre after a stellar win in the recently concluded Lok Sabha election. The NITI Aayog meeting was attended by chief ministers, lieutenant governors of union territories, union ministers and senior government officials. Three Chief Ministers – Mamata Banerjee, K Chandrashekar Rao and Amarinder Singh – skipped the meet.
PM Modi said states should recognise their core competence, and work towards raising GDP targets right from the district level.
PM Modi said export sector is an important element in the progress of developing countries, adding that both the centre and the states should work towards growth in exports to raise per capita incomes.
PM Modi also spoke about water conservation and management. He sought the states’ cooperation in the efforts. He said the aim was to provide piped water to every rural home by 2024.
On health front, PM Modi said tuberculosis should be wiped out by 2025. He urged states that have not implemented the central government’s health insurance scheme to come on-board.
“PM has announced a high-level task force to bring structural reforms in agriculture in the country. It will be formed in near future and report will be submitted in next 2-3 months”: NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar said after the meeting.
In the meet, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy demanded Special Category Status (SCS) for his state. “It is disheartening when we hear several rumours and excuses for not granting special category status,” he said.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said at the meeting that the NITI Aayog was not a substitute of planning commission. “I hope that my colleague Chief Ministers would agree with me that NITI Aayog in the present form has not played the much expected role of a facilitator in the last four years. There is growing realisation that it is perhaps not a substitute for the erstwhile Planning Commission,” he was quoted by news agency PTI.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh didn’t attend the meeting. He, however, sent copies of his address. Expressing concern over the water crisis in Northern India, Mr Singh on Saturday sought the Prime Minister’s support for the upgradation of his state’s water distribution infrastructure, while calling for a fresh river waters tribunal to address the disputes among neighbouring states.
Mr Singh urged the Government of India to increase the annual assistance under PM-KISAN scheme from Rs. 6,000 to Rs. 12,000 per farmer.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is up in arms against the BJP in her state, refused to attend the NITI Aayog meeting. She said it was “unacceptable” that the centre should expect states to discuss only specific agendas that it brings to the table.