States need cooperative federalism, healthy competition to develop: Modi
New Delhi, Feb 6 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday stressed the need for cooperative federalism, and healthy competition for development among states while interacting with eminent economists at the revamped Planning Commission – the NITI Aayog, an official statement said here.
In his first visit to NITI Aayog, the prime minister noted that one of the objectives of the organisation which replaces the Planning Commission was to establish a dynamic institutional mechanism where eminent individuals outside the government system could contribute to policy making.
Modi said India must develop fast, taking advantage of current global environment, to meet the aspirations of the people.
He mentioned the government’s recent initiatives, including the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, direct cash transfer of cooking gas subsidy, and Swachh Bharat.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and NITI Vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya also made brief opening remarks.
Economists present at the interaction including Vijay Kelkar, Nitin Desai, Bimal Jalan, Rajiv Lall, R. Vaidyanathan, Subir Gokarn, Parthasarathi Shome, P. Balakrishnan, Rajiv Kumar, Ashok Gulati, Mukesh Butani and G.N. Bajpai emphasized on the need for the government to work towards high growth, predictable tax regime, fiscal prudence and rapid infrastructure development.
A large number of other suggestions were also made on various sectors of the economy.
Bibek Debroy and V.K. Saraswat, member and chief executive officer (CEO), NITI Aayog attended the meeting, where the cabinet secretary, finance ministry secretaries, chief economic advisor and other senior officers of the PMO and NITI Aayog were also present.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, Jaitley said it deliberated on ways to give the economy a much needed boost.
“As the chairperson of the Niti Ayog, the prime minister himself was present throughout the meeting… addressed the economists and thereafter, he invited their suggestions. Each one of them has given some very extensive suggestions. And these suggestions, mainly related to the high growth roadmap on which the Indian economy has to be put,” he said.
“These were also in relation to the financing of infrastructure, how to attract investment, how to boost domestic savings. The state of the agricultural sector was particularly discussed,” he added.
The prime minister has also convened another meeting, the first of the governing council of the NITI Aayog, Feb 8.