Terming the first meeting of NITI Aayog’s Governing Council as “very successful”, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said he sought that states should be allowed to prepare their own strategic plans and NITI should provide domain expertise and outlays.
Fadnavis also said that chief ministers of different states got a chance to witness the benefits of “co-operative federalism” during the NITI Aayog meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi.
“The first meeting of NITI Aayog has turned out to be very successful, because the chief ministers of various states got to witness the benefits of co-operative federalism. Even the CMs from different parties seemed to be agreeing with the Prime Minister’s views,” Fadnavis said.
“Earlier, the norm was that the Central government would decide policies under the Planning Commission and the states would comply with it. Today, a committee has been formed to discuss what policies are relevant and which ones should be scrapped,” he said.
Recounting the minutes of the meeting, Fadnavis said he proposed that in the transition Phase of the 11th Plan, the existing system of five-year plan should be continued, but in future a system that is formulated through strategic planning should be adopted.
“Parameters of a balanced national development should be decided and the states should be allowed to make their own strategic plan to achieve the outcome and NITI should provide domain expertise and outlays,” he said.
Block grants should be given to states under NREGA and state-level ratio of skilled and non-skilled should be allowed to be maintained, he added.
“In tune with the Prime Minister Krishi Sinchai Yojana, Maharashtra has already started aquifer-based water conservation scheme under ‘Jal Yukta Shivar’ scheme. I requested that it should be given more outlay,” Fadnavis said.
The Central Government should allocate an amount equivalent to 35 per cent of agriculture crop loan to invest into agriculture infrastructure development, he said adding that Maharashtra has an ambitious plan to provide five lakh solar agri pumps and that the Union Government should provide bigger outlay for it.
“Article 371 (2) of the Constitution has made special provision for Vidarbha and Marathawada. Centre should provide special scheme outlay for the same,” he said.