THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala criticised the Centre for hastily convening the meeting on the National Institution for Transforming India (Niti) Aayog due to which the the state was left with no time to examine issues in detail and come out with specific views on each issue.
Chief Minister Ommen Chandy also criticised the Centre for not transferring any information on the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission and how it would impact state finances in 2015-16, in a meeting of Chief Ministers of the states chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the form and functions of Niti Aayog, the newly instituted planning panel, in New Delhi on Sunday.
“The agenda note for the meeting scheduled on February 8 was received only on February 5 morning,” Chandy said.
The Chief Minister pointed out that the state was about to prepare the plan and budget for 2015-16 without any clear idea regarding the share of Central taxes or normal Central assistance, unlike in the past years.
He emphasised that ‘the state needs maximum flexibility to take care of statespecific concerns such as second-generation issues in education and health, special schemes for ageing population, and so on’.
“Niti Aayog should continue the function performed by the Planning Commission to determine the resources that will be available to the states for plan and budget preparation in consultation with the Ministry of Finance and state governments. It should also play an important role in finalising the quantum of resources available for Plan spending,” said the Chief Minister.
Niti Aayog should also collect and disseminate information on the best practices, both at national and international level,” Chandy said.
“Whenever there is a major infrastructure project being jointly implemented, there should be a 50:50 contribution of equity by the Union and the state governments, as is being promoted by the Ministry of Railways. The viability gap fund for PPP projects should be enhanced to 33 per cent,” Chandy said.
“There should be much more focus on making agriculture a viable and productive occupation through a suitable flagship programme which focuses on researchoriented assistance to agriculturists. Niti Aayog may undertake studies on success models and organise discussions on state-specific success models for adoption/ study by other states,” Chandy said.
“Kerala is in a position to showcase several good replicable models such as Ashraya for destitutes, the Kudumbasree model for grassroots development, propagation of ayurveda, free cochlear implants, focused schemes for the disabled and so on in the health sector,” the Chief Minister further said at the meeting.