THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Voicing open dissent against the functioning of Niti Ayog, Kerala on Saturday urged the Centre to address the state’s concerns on certain issues on the Terms of Reference of the 15th Finance Commission. Addressing the Niti Ayog governing council meeting, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan raised concern over increasing moves against cooperative federalism. State governments should not be viewed as entities below the Centre, Pinarayi said.
“We have been mentioning a great deal about cooperative federalism, a concept in which governments representing various administrative jurisdictions are equal partners in shared decision-making on issues of common interest. I feel we should introspect as to how far we are from this ideal,” he said, adding cooperative federalism is still in the conceptual stage.
The Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation had participated in the tender for the airport. But the Adani Group, inexperienced in running airports, was selected since it quoted a higher amount. Modi assured Pinarayi that the demand would be considered favourably. He appreciated the Kerala model of airport construction, said a statement from the Chief Minister’s Office.
The Chief Minister informed Modi that the GAIL pipeline project was nearing completion. The Prime Minister, in his first meeting with the Chief Minister, had pointed out the losses worth crores of rupees owing to the delay in the project implementation.
Modi appreciated Pinarayi for this. Pinarayi also told Modi that the Kochi-Edamon power corridor to bring power from Koodankulam was in the final stage. Only one more tower was left to be set up, he said. The Chief Minister requested Modi to sanction an AIIMS for the state. The state had identified 200 acres in Kozhikode for that. AIIMS is essential for the state to achieve higher standards in health sector.
Kerala has already made tremendous achievements in the health sector and hence it would be an injustice if the state is denied an AIIMS. Modi said he would favourably consider the demand.
Pinarayi said the state needed an Ayurveda research centre of international standards. The state government had taken preliminary steps in that regard. Modi said Kerala’s contributions to Ayurveda were acclaimed internationally and the country needed Ayurveda institutions of global standards.
Pinarayi also asked Modi to extend the Chennai-Bengaluru industrial corridor to Kochi via Coimbatore.
He sought Modi’s intervention in getting the permission of the Union Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister for sanctioning 600 acres owned by FACT for the construction of a petrochemical complex and for the development of Kochi Refinery.