Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday chaired the NITI Aayog's Governing Council meeting where he stated that the center and states need to work closely to boost economic growth. He also hailed the Union Budget of 2021 and the response it has received from the citizens, saying that it has expressed the mood of the country.
"In the COVID period we saw how the Centre and States worked together, the nation succeeded and a good image of India was built before the entire world. Today, when we are going to complete 75 years of independence, this Governing Council meet becomes even more significant" PM Modi said
He added, "Centre and states should work together for the nation's progress... Government has to respect and give due representation to the private sector for economic progress."
The Prime Minister also said that the positive response to the Union Budget 2021-22 indicates that the country wants to move forward on the path of development at greater speed.
"The positive response received for this year's Budget has expressed the mood of the nation. The country has made up its mind that it wants to progress rapidly and doesn't want to lose time. The youth is playing a major role in setting the mood of the nation," the PM added.
While focusing on farmers of the country, PM Modi said that efforts should be made to produce agricultural items like edible oil and reduce their imports.
He also underlined the need for reducing the compliance burden on people and asked the states to form committees to reduce regulations that are no longer relevant in the wake of technology.
Meanwhile, though most of the Chief Ministers were present at the meeting, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee chose to skip it. The TMC supremo, who is at loggerheads with the Central government ahead of the West Bengal assembly polls had earlier skipped the NITI Aayog meetings, terming it as a "fruitless" exercise, alleging that the body has "no financial power" and cannot support the state plans.
The governing council meets annually and its first meeting took place on February 8, 2015. However, the council did not meet last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.