NEW DELHI: Fresh from a landslide mandate, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed on collective responsibility for achieving short and long-term goals for the country, with the focus on “bottom-up” approach by working on unique strengths at the district level to boost employment and income.
“The goal to make India a $5 trillion economy by 2024 is challenging, but can surely be achieved. States should recognise their core competencies, and work towards raising GDP targets right from the district level,” said Modi in his opening remark at the fifth governing council meeting of NITI Aayog held at the cultural centre of Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Making a case for structural agrarian reforms, the PM stressed on enhancing corporate investment and market support for farmers. Incidentally, NITI Aayog had listed out amendments in Essential Commodities Act, Agricultural Produces Marketing Cooperatives (APMC) Act. Bihar and Kerala CMs Nitish Kumar and Pinarayi Vijayan respectively, however, argued against regulations of Mandis, saying their states have abolished all such entities.
Making a strong pitch against Left Wing Extremism (LWE), PM said that many aspirational districts are affected by Naxal violence. “Battle against Naxal violence is now in a decisive phase. Violence will be dealt with firmly, even as development proceeds in a fast-paced and balanced manner,” he added. Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath in his speech called for the creation of branches of anti-Naxal police units with the involvement of locals.
“Improving governance in LWE areas, along with continuous efforts for better rail/road communication, education, telecommunication, skill development opportunities, healthcare and other services, were discussed,” said a senior official.
‘No central schemes’
Even while the BJP credited flagship schemes for its massive Lok Sabha mandate, NDA ally and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan made a forceful argument at the Niti Aayog governing council meeting that the centrally sponsored schemes should be discontinued as they were putting massive burden on the states which have to bear 40% of the costs.