Prime Minister Modi delivered the opening remarks of the fifth meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog by greeting the attendees and reiterating the role of the planning commission in fulfilling the mantra of 'Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas'. PM Modi addressed the five-point agenda in his opening remarks.
The fifth meeting of Governing Council of NITI Aayog was held at Rashtrapati Bhawan Cultural Centre in New Delhi on June 15, led by the chairman of NITI Aayog PM Modi. In attendance were the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Ministers of various states, Lieutenant Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and other delegates.
Recalling the May 2019 Lok Sabha polls as the world's largest democratic exercise, PM Modi said that it was now time to turn towards the development of the country and emphasized the need to have a collective fight against poverty, unemployment, drought, flood, pollution, corruption and violence among other major issues that needed to be addressed. He set the target to be achieved by October 2, 2022, which marks Mahatma Gandhi's 150th anniversary, invoking the need to provide empowerment, and ease of living to all Indians.
PM Modi set the goal to make India a 5 trillion dollar economy and said that the challenge could be achieved if the Centre and the States worked together. He said that the States should recognise their core competence, and work towards raising GDP targets right from the district level. He stressed that the states had immense untapped export potential and said that the States should work towards growth in exports, in order to raise per capita incomes.
He said, "export sector is vital for boosting income and employment. The states should focus on export promotion".
He addressed the water crisis in India and said that it was the poor who bore the brunt of insufficient water in the country. The newly created Jal Shakti ministry, he said, will help provide an integrated approach to water and urged the states to integrate their efforts towards water conservation and management.
"The goal is to provide water through pipes to all rural households by 2024 and attention has to be given to raising water table and conservation of water. He appreciated the states for their efforts to conserve water and said that rules and regulations, such as model building bye-laws, also need to be framed for water conservation and management."District irrigation plans under the PM Krishi Sinchai Yojana should be implemented carefully", he added.
Emphasizing agriculture's need for water, he said that every Indian should adopt an attitude of per drop per crop. He reminded the attendees of the promise made to double the farmers' income by 2022 which required more focus on fisheries, animal husbandry, horticulture, fruits and vegetables.
"The benefits of PM-KISAN - Kisan Samman Nidhi - and other farmer-centric schemes should reach the intended beneficiaries well within time. Food processing sector should grow at a faster pace than foodgrain production", he added, as he spoke of the need to boost corporate investment, strengthen logistics, and provide ample market support.
Turning his attention towards the Aspirational Districts Programme, PM Modi said that the improvement in the governance of the aspirational districts marked remarkable progress and development and added that better governance was a key factor that needed to be worked on.
Giving several examples, he said," out-of-the-box ideas, and innovative service delivery efforts in some of these districts have delivered outstanding results."
PM Modi, however, said some of the aspirational districts were under the threat of Naxal violence, which is soon going to be met with a decisive fate. He said, "violence will be dealt with firmly, even as development proceeds in a fastpaced and balanced manner."
He set the target to eradicate Tuberculosis from the country completely by 2025, as he spoke about the health sector, and urged those States that have not implemented Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana under Ayushman Bharat, so far, to come onboard this scheme at the earliest. "Health and wellness should be the focal point of all decisions", he added.
"We are now moving towards a governance system characterized by performance, transparency, and delivery", he said as he spoke about the proper implementations of the schemes and called upon all members of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog to help create a government setup which works, and has the trust of the people.
This was the first time PM Modi chaired the meeting as Chairman of NITI Aayog, after taking the portfolio under his wing post the massive mandate in the May 2019 Lok Sabha polls that saw him return to the office of Prime Minister for the second time.
Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee and Chief Minister of Telangana K. Chandrashekar Rao did not attend the meeting. Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh recused himself from the meeting as well as he was unwell. Mamata Banerjee had addressed a letter to PM Modi on June 7 stating that she wouldn't attend the meeting, citing that there was nothing called Niti Aayog as states do not get their space in the forum. Chief Ministers of the rest of the states and Union Territories were present in the meeting.