The government policy think-tank NITI Ayog met today to review the work done in the previous year and discuss the possible strategies to reach the developmental agenda for ‘New India 2022’.
Among other schemes, the progress of various government schemes such as Ayushman Bharat, National Nutrition Mission and Mission Indradhanush were discussed even as Prime Minister Modi was expected to face some pushback from all the non-BJP chief Ministers attending the meet.
Modi, while addressing the governing council of NITI Aayog, the apex body of the government policy think tank, stated how Mudra Yogna, Jan Dhan Yojana, and other schemes have helped in achieving greater financial inclusion in the country.
The idea of ‘‘Team India’’ in issues related to governance is a theme which occurred many times in Modi’s interactions, citing GST implementation as an example of how centre and states have worked together and in unison to better India, he linked co-operative federalism to “New India Vision -2022”.
The presence of the Chief Ministers in the meeting is representative of the “hopes and aspirations of the people of India”, Modi stated adding that India has grown by a healthy rate of 7.7% in the fourth quarter of 2017-18. The inclusion of an additional 1.5 lakh health and wellness centres, which are being constructed under the Ayushman Bharat Scheme, in the country’s health infrastructure was also mentioned. The increased number of people insured under government health schemes was also mentioned, 10 crore people now are assured of Rs. 5 lakhs every year.
The Prime Minister also highlighted the key role played by the Chief Ministers in the implementation of various central schemes in their respective states through their involvement in the subgroups and committees on issues such as Swachh Bharat Mission, Digital Transactions and Skill Development. He also mentioned the increase of near about 6 lakh crore rupees in grants from the Central to the states from last year of the previous government. The states are receiving over 11,000 crores from the Centre.
Though Modi has been focusing on the co-operation between the central and the states, the opposition chief ministers are steadfast in their demands. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minsiter Chandrababu Naidu requested Special Category Status (SCS) for Andhra, which was supported by Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, who also demanded a SCS for Bihar. The Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee supported Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu’s 2011 census being adopted by the 15th Finance Commission in NITI Aayog governing council meeting & asked the center not to penalize the performing states.