NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who chaired the second meeting of the governing council of Niti Aayog here on Wednesday, said that Centre and states must move together to end poverty.
Prime Minister Modi said the political deadlock over Land Acquisition is seriously impacting rural development, including the creation of schools, hospitals, roads and irrigation projects.
He reiterated that as far as paying enhanced compensation is concerned, there are no differences in the stands of the Centre and States.
Reiterating the vision of his government that state units should be the focus of all development efforts, as part of ‘Team India’, the Prime Minister recalled that the Chief Ministers had always felt that development policies at the Centre should be framed in consultation with the states.
Prime Minister Modi said that the last one year had been a good beginning, with states being taken on board in the planning process and the Chief Ministers taking the lead in sub-groups of the Niti Aayog.
The Prime Minister said that after formation of his government, several states had raised concerns with regard to the implementation of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.
He said many states had felt that development work was suffering due to the provisions of the 2013 Act; and some Chief Ministers had requested for changes in the Act, and sent letters to this effect.
The Prime Minister said that the ordinance was brought about in response to these development concerns of the states and also to ensure that farmers continue to receive their legitimate due.
Prime Minister Modi appealed to everyone that political considerations should not come in the way of a solution that would facilitate development of the rural areas and greater prosperity for the farmers.
He said the matter is now before the Parliamentary Standing Committee and, therefore, ahead of the upcoming Parliament Session, it was appropriate that the suggestions of the states be listened to, once again.
Concluding the meeting, the Prime Minister thanked the Chief Ministers for their participation and said that their suggestions would be welcomed.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said that certain non-BJP chief ministers skipping the Niti Aayog meeting in New Delhi was "against the spirit of federalism".
"Those who chose to boycott (Niti Aayog meeting) must introspect whether not attending the meeting is in tune with the spirit of federalism," Jaitley said at a press conference here after the Aayog meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi concluded.
Jaitley said 16 chief ministers were present at the meeting.
Nine chief ministers of Congress-ruled states, Mamata Banerjee from West Bengal and Akhilesh Yadav from Uttar Pradesh were among those who boycotted the meeting of Niti (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog.
Also missing was Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, but Jaitley said he could not attend because of some other engagement.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar were among the attendees.