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PM Raises Stakes of BJP States, Gives Free Hand

Modi has discussed the importance of having a common platform with chief ministers of BJP-ruled states.

Published: 22nd February 2016 06:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd February 2016 06:09 AM   |  A+A-

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NEW DELHI: The Narendra Modi government is fast learning the art of tackling the Opposition. Unable to carry out its economic reform policies—including GST and land reforms due to political opposition—the Central government is letting BJP-ruled states design their own development plans to become “investment-friendly states” and implement reform policies aggressively.

A special cell has been formed in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to work with the Niti Aayog, the policy think-tank set up by Modi. An official in the PMO has been given the responsibility of coordination.

According to sources, Modi has discussed the importance of having a common platform with chief ministers of BJP-ruled states. The strategy is to implement reforms and the investor-friendly labour policy stalled by the Opposition. All BJP-ruled states have been told to work on their own land bills as the Union government’s Land Bill is stuck in Parliament due to opposition from Congress and others. “The government has not been able to go ahead with its reform agenda due to various political reasons. This move is to get reforms unfurled in BJP states and then showcase them to the nation,’’ a PMO official told Express.

There is also a plan to set common development goals for BJP-ruled states and to organise business conclaves to attract FDIs. Chief ministers are happy with the move as it will allow them to enact their own laws instead of waiting for Central clearances.

BJP-ruled Rajasthan, Haryana, MP, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh have started rolling out reforms in the labour sector. Most of the states have their single-window clearance system ready and are in the process of framing their own land laws. Rajasthan, Maharashtra and MP have land banks. “Modi government may have been accused of centralisation of power, but this is a classic case of cooperative federalism,’’ said the source.

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