States should be granted full autonomy to run schemes as per requirements
Assistance available with union government departments should be allocated among states in a transparent manner, based on their backwardness
Minimum fifty per cent of the central plan outlay should be given to states as one time amount
A minimum of 90 per cent subsidy amount should be made available to the state in all centrally-aided projects
It would have been beneficial if the states were given a preview of the form of Planning Commission and their suggestions were also taken into account
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mr. Akhilesh Yadav has stressed on the need of allowing full freedom to the states for executing projects as per their requirements and stressed on the need of threadbare consultations with state governments on political and official level before five year plans are given final shape. He added that the assistance available with central government departments should be divided between states in a transparent manner, keeping in mind the backwardness of states. The chief minister was expressing his views in New Delhi at a meeting of chief ministers convened by Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi, to discuss the form of the Planning Commission. Suggesting that the states and the Centre should have an equal participation in the Planning Commission, the chief minister said that the all round development interests of the states should be protected in such a manner that the federal structure is also strengthened.
Mr. Yadav further said that every state has its own priorities and hence one single policy cannot be applicable and effective to all. Advocating flexibility in policies, the chief minister said this will ensure that the states can implement them with changes based on their economic, social and geographic conditions. He also suggested that it would have been more beneficial had the issue of the Planning Commission been discussed with the states and their opinions, views were taken into account.
The chief minister also said that the issues of states should be addressed by the Planning Commission within specified timelines and added that the role played by the planning commission as an innovation and knowledge hub could be the focal point for states. Pointing out the need of providing resources for study and research to obliterate problems faced in development of the states, Mr. Yadav suggested that representation of the states should be enhanced on one hand, while on the other the Centre should also make efforts to provide knowledge, research and financial aiding to achieve the targets of the ready road map and meeting of the development indices.
Mr. Yadav also requested that 50 per cent of the central plan outlay budget be provided to the states as one time amount so that the states can implement their projects by keeping in mind local needs and priorities. The efficacy of the fund utilisation should be done by keeping long-term targets in mind, he said while assessing that the projects from the central sector and being financially assisted by the centre should be restricted to a maximum of 50 per cent of the total planned budget. The chief minister said that the plan budget was 26 per cent of the total central budget of which 85 per cent was allotted to the central government ministries and only 15 per cent was left for states as block grants. Instead of keeping a large section of the budget by the Centre, he added, it should be transferred to the states.
Mr. Yadav pointed out that states are generally not benefitted by the programmes and projects run by the Centre. Some projects are such that only a select few states are benefitted because of the conditions and restrictions in the projects. The chief minister hence sought the allocation of financial resources in a transparent manner among the states and in this backward regions/states should be given priority. Mr. Yadav also said that a minimum of 90 per cent subsidy amount in all centrally-funded projects should be provided to the states and pointed out that the states were being financially burdened as the Centre was executing schemes coming in the state list. These programmes, the chief minister rued, were exerting undue pressure on the finances of the states and in some cases states find themselves helpless.
Mr. Akhilesh Yadav also said that the concept and aspirations of comprehensive development were incomplete without removing social and regional imbalances and added that every person of the society should be given a chance to progress and prosper. In the federal structure enshrined in the constitution, the chief minister said, it was mandatory that states and the Centre worked in unison. Pointing out that socialists always strived to ensure that the benefits of development reached the last person standing at the social ladder and also ascertained his prosperity, the chief minister said the Planning Commission should assimilate the basic tenets of socialism and work for development of the common man. It should also ensure that the fruits of development reached the common man and the interests of the states were also protected.