NEW DELHI: The NITI Aayog is trying to evolve into a one-stop troubleshooter for all state governments. The body has now asked states to approach it for resolution of their pending issues with the Centre to avoid making their officials run around Central ministries.
“The NITI Aayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya recently wrote to all chief ministers wherein he proposed that the panel could be a one-stop window for the resolution of all their issues pending with various ministries of the Central government. This way, we can provide a hassle-free institutional mechanism for resolution of concerns and speedy execution of various Centrally sponsored schemes,” said a senior official of the Niti Aayog requesting anonymity.
The Centre releases funds to the states for implementation of various Central government sponsored schemes. However, there are various terms and conditions attached, which if not fulfilled could mean stoppage of the financial resources.
“Kerala has connected all the habitations with the rural roads, so the norms of the Pradhan Mantri Sadak Yojna meant that it could not spend funds earmarked for the scheme. Thus, there has to be a way out to allow the Kerala government to spend the funds under similar activities in the rural areas,” the official added. The joint meeting of central government officials, state representatives along with Niti Aayog members has helped, sources said
Responding to NITI Aayog’s proposal, four state governments including Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra have already held meetings with the panel for resolution of their pending issues with the Centre.
The erstwhile Planning Commission used to engage states in the finalisation of their annual plans. But the NITI Aayog is seeking to go a step further and give a boost to the idea of cooperative federalism advocated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.