In his opening remarks at the third meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog in New Delhi, the Prime Minister said Team India has once again assembled today to discuss and reflect on ways to prepare India for changing global trends. He said the meeting is an opportunity to exchange views on policies and implementation.
Talking about the passage of Goods and Services Tax, the Prime Minister said the consensus on it will go down in history as a great illustration of cooperative federalism. He gave credit to all Chief Ministers for coming on one platform for this cause, keeping aside ideological and political differences.
PM Narendra Modi said the GST reflects the spirit of ‘one nation, one aspiration, one determination. He also called for carrying forward the debate and discussion on simultaneous elections.
During the meeting, the Prime Minister said it is the collective responsibility of this gathering to envision the India of 2022-the 75th anniversary of independence-and see how,the country can swiftly move forward to achieve these goals.
He urged States to speed up capital expenditure and infrastructure creation. He said the NITI Aayog is working on a 15 year long term vision, 7 year medium term strategy, and 3 year action agenda. He said this effort needs support of States, and will eventually reflect in benefits to States.
Recalling the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, on the occasion of the centenary of the Champaran Satyagraha, the Prime Minister said NITI Aayog has been taking steps to transform India, with fresh vigour. He said the government, private sector and civil society, all need to work in sync.
He noted that NITI Aayog is a collaborative federal body whose strength is in its ideas, rather than in administrative or financial control. He pointed out that the Chief Ministers did not have to come to the Aayog for approval of budgets or plans.
Prime Minister noted that sub-groups of State Chief Ministers had given vital inputs on subjects such as Centrally Sponsored Schemes, Swachh Bharat, Skill Development and Digital payments.
Speaking of the historic change in budget presentation date, the Prime Minister said this would enable timely availability of funds at the beginning of the financial year.