Process for conducting the NITI Aayog should be such that states are taken along and development speeded up
A minimum share of 50% of the Central Plan Budget should be given to states in one go
Union Government should pay attention to the problems and needs of states
It would be prudent to continue with the yearly plan system, in view of the third year of the 12th Five Year Plan
At the GoI level, a Project Monitoring Group be constituted at the NITI Aayog and the Prime Minister’s Office for pending proposals of the state governments and approvals
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mr. Akhilesh Yadav has called for processes and operational manual for the NITI Aayog to be made in such a way that the states are taken along and the development is fast tracked. Seeking at least 50% of the central plan outlay for the states on a one time basis, the Chief Minister said this was necessary to meet local demands and implement projects on priority basis.
Saying that the state government was committed to comprehensive development of the state and that it was doing its best as per its resources and expressed hope that the union government would pay attention to needs and problems of the state.
The Chief Minister was today expressing his views at the maiden meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog at New Delhi. Stressing on the need of a clear and transparent procedure by the NITI Aayog, Mr. Yadav suggested constituting of a sub-committee of members of the Commission and representation from the states.
This sub-committee would, in a fixed time frame, submit its detailed recommendations to the governing council, which after endorsement will be accepted by the NITI Aayog. The Chief Minister also said that in the new form of the NITI Aayog it was unclear how coordination would be established between states and union government and how would the weaker and backward states be prioritized, transfer of resources would be done in what manner and by which institutions.
Mr. Yadav also drew attention to the fact that the Governing Council of the Commission and the National Development Council were almost similar in their constitution and hence clarity should come on the National Development Council as there was no justification for maintaining two parallel institutions.
The Chief Minister said that his state government was of the view that the NITI Aayog would work to remove the economic stumbling blocks in backward areas and contribute to comprehensive and all-round development of states and added that a system should be put in place to transfer a large part of the budget to the states rather than keeping it with the union government.
The state government believed that a minimum of 50% of the central plan budget should be provided to the states as one time instalment, so that schemes are implemented as per local needs and priorities. Mr. Yadav further stated that till the new systems of the NITI Aayog are not implemented at the ground level, especially considering that the 12th Five Year Plan was running into its third year, the previous annual plans should be kept running.
He also stressed on the need of making long term policies with the next 10-15 years in mind but added that till such a time, the present system of five year plan system may be carried forward. A transparent system, he emphasized should be such that there is no scope of discretion on allocation of funds to the states with regards to practical distribution of resources where backward regions/states are prioritized.
Referring to the importance accorded to infrastructure projects by the union government, the Chief Minister said that a ‘Project Monitoring Group’ has been constituted in the state under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary and informed that principal secretary, Prime Minister has been sent a letter on January 28, 2015 with regards to this after detailed scrutiny by the Chief Secretary. Though at local level, officers of the union government had not paid heed to these points in the past.
Mr. Akhilesh Yadav also said that with regards to various proposals and pending necessary approvals pending at the end of the GoI, a ‘Project Monitoring Group’ be arranged for at the level of NITI Aayog and the Prime Minister’s Office in which officers from the state government are also assimilated. He further pointed out that with regards to Lucknow Metro, while in-principle consent and budgetary provisions, have been made by the union government an approval from the centre is pending, despite all formalities being completed by the state government.
The prime minister and the union government, in display of their thoughts, the CM said, should expedite and give the necessary approvals on the Lucknow Metro. Mr. Yadav also pointed out that maintenance and upkeep of the national highways in the state was not happening and with regards to this problem he had held wide-ranging discussions with union minister Mr. Nitin Gadkari during his Lucknow visit. A demand had been made to ensure that the maintenance and upkeep of these national highways in the state is improved and the benefit of these is extended to the people and local businesses.
Reiterating the commitment of the state government to provide adequate electricity to people of the state, the Chief Minister said proposals like coal block allocations, adequate power supply from central power projects and various environmental clearances are pending at the end of the union government, he added that detailed deliberations have been held with the Union MoS for Power with regards to this and sought the intervention of the prime minister in the matter. Mr. Yadav also demanded that permanent solutions should be provided to the problems faced by the state in the power sector and expected the union government to fulfil its promises in the past.
The Chief Minister further said that to take on the challenges of development at the national level, some serious initiatives had been set rolling by the union government, but most of them are still restricted to the conceptual level only. For operational purposes the financial and other resources will be required along with the active involvement of the state. Out of these, on various points, the state government is already working on its own.
The state government was specially working on skill development, establishing solar parks, making IT services more people friendly to fill the digital divide, girl education and establishing new bank branches. Special efforts are also being made for women welfare. In the infrastructure sector many major projects are also underway. These include the Agra-Lucknow Expressway, Metro work in four cities, IT city in Lucknow among others. The state government is also giving final shape to the ‘Development Agenda’ for the year 2015-16 and budgetary provisions are also being made for this.
Mr. Yadav also pointed out that under the sector 263 of the Indian Constitution, from the past Inter-State Councils have been constituted, under the State Re-organization Act 1956, Inter-State Councils have also been constituted. A meeting of the Central Region Council was recently held in Lucknow, under the chairmanship of the union home minister. In such light, it would be prudent that these inter-state councils are changed to meet the present day needs, strengthen them and made more effective, the Chief Minister said.
Permanent work groups be constituted in various sectors, which had proper representation of concerning ministries as well as the states. Referring to the resolve of the preamble of the Indian Constitution, the Chief Minister said, at the core of the priorities of the state government is to ensure that the fruits of development reached to the person standing on the last pedestal of the society and wipe of their tears to realize their dreams of a prosperous and happy future.
The state government is making efforts to bridge the gap between the poor and the rich and is working towards providing the best infrastructure facility to the poor and villages. Work is being done in a sustained manner to ensure educational, social and economic development in the state for the poor, farmers, students, youth, minorities, children and women.