The sixth meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog was held on February 20, 2021 under the chairmanship of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi via video conferencing.
It was attended by 26 Chief Ministers, 3 Lieutenant Governors and 2 Administrators, apart from Union Ministers, who are Ex-Officio Members, and Special Invitees. NITI Aayog Vice Chairman, Members and CEO,Principal Secretary to the PM & other senior officers from PMO; Cabinet Secretary; and Chief Secretaries of States/ Union Territories also attended the meeting. The meeting was moderated by Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh.
Addressing the event, the Prime Minister said that Cooperative Federalism is the foundation of India’s progress. Cooperative and Competitive Federalism should be made more effective and taken to the district level, he said.
As India stands close to completing 75 years of Independence, this Governing Council meeting assumes even more significance as it provides an opportunity to brainstorm and further strengthen Cooperative and Competitive Federalism, which are essential pillars for successful achievement of the national aspirations, the Prime Minister said.
Agenda for the Sixth Governing Council Meeting
The Agenda for the Sixth Council Meeting comprised the following items:
1. Making India a Manufacturing Powerhouse
2. Reimagining Agriculture
3. Improving Physical Infrastructure
4. Accelerating Human Resources Development
5. Improving Service Delivery at Grassroots Level
6. Health and Nutrition
The Council deliberated on several steps for making India a manufacturing powerhouse, such as reducing compliance burden, initiating reforms at the State level, improving logistics, promoting exports through district-level competition and creating jobs.
For improving physical infrastructure, the Chief Ministers expressed the need to raise public capital investment and completing projects under the National Infrastructure Pipeline, while enhancing investments in infrastructure through private and Public Private Partnerships, improving last-mile connectivity, reducing energy costs and configuring an enhanced and efficient role of States in project implementation.
States/UTs also mentioned efforts made to improve water accessibility, supply of quality and reliable power, internet connectivity andbandwidth availability, quality healthcare services, sustainable agricultural practices to mitigate the risks of climate change, undertake suitable reforms to build an advanced manufacturing and innovation ecosystem, thereby bolstering exports through the One District One Product initiative, apart from building on futuristic tech and inclusive governance models.
The Chief Ministers also noted marked improvement in the development of physical infrastructure, including digital connectivity, across the North-Eastern region, along with a greater thrust on the Act East Policy, with the aim of providing impetus to the economies of the NE States.
Coordination between the Centre and States
The Prime Minister said policy frameworks and better coordination between the Centre and States are very important. He said the Centre and States must synchronise their budgets to ensure a multiplier effect. Technology and community partnership are equally important.
The Prime Minister said the Central Government has introduced the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for various sectors, thus providing an excellent opportunity to increase manufacturing in the country. He urged the States to take full advantage of this scheme and attract maximum global investments and reap the benefits of reduced corporate tax rates.
The Prime Minister said geospatial data was liberalized recently, which would incentivise entrepreneurial endeavour, start-up innovation and the tech sector in general. Focus must be on ease-of-doing business for the international audience and on ease-of-living for our own people, he added.
This Governing Council meeting paved the way for synergies across all tiers of the Government, with substantial collaboration and cooperation in the Agenda items. The meeting provided an opportunity to address the objectives of advancing economic, social and demographic welfare.
About the Governing Council of NITI Aayog
The Governing Council of NITI Aayog comprises the Prime Minister of India, Chief Ministers of all the States and Union Territories with Legislature, Lt Governors of other UTs, Ex-Officio Members and Special Invitees. It is the premier body tasked with evolving a shared vision of national development priorities, sectors and strategies with the active involvement of States in shaping the development narrative. Including today, a total of Six meetings have been held so far.
NITI Aayog has been mandated with fostering Cooperative Federalism through structured support initiatives and mechanisms with the States on a continuous basis, recognizing that strong States make a strong nation on the principles of ‘SabkaSaath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas’.
It seeks to design and assist the implementation of strategic, long-term policy frameworks and programme initiatives, while monitoring their progress and efficacy. The Governing Council, which embodies these objectives of cooperative federalism, presents a platform to discuss inter-sectoral, inter-departmental and federal issues to accelerate the implementation of the national development agenda.