- PM said states and Centre should help the private sector to grow
- He was addressing the sixth meeting of the Niti Aayog
- Amarinder Singh and Mamata Banerjee skipped the meet
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today spoke of the need for a solid policy framework as the country tries to shake off the economic downturn induced by the coronavirus pandemic. In this context, he also spoke of the need to increase the cohesion between the Centre and the states. Addressing the sixth meeting of the government's think tank Niti Aayog, he said the private sector must be allowed to grow and the states and the Centre should both support them.
"We, as governments, have to provide private sector opportunities to take part in the mission of Aatmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India)," he said at the meeting, which was attended by Chief Ministers and Lieutenant Governors of states and Union Territories.
"In the Covid period, we saw how the Centre and the states worked together. The nation succeeded and a good image of India was built before the entire world," he said.
"The foundation of India's development is that the Centre and the states work together and head towards a certain direction and make cooperative federalism even more meaningful. Not only this, we have to try to bring competitive, cooperative federalism not only among states but also districts," he said at the meeting, where the notable absentees included Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Bengal's Mamata Banerjee.
Ms Banerjee had earlier skipped the Niti Aayog''s meetings. Terming it a "fruitless" exercise, she had alleged that the body has "no financial power" and cannot support the plans of states. Mr Singh is indisposed, news agency Press of India had said..
Underscoring the need to achieve Ease of Doing Business so the country can "grab global opportunities", the Prime Minister also spoke of achieving "Ease of Living" for the people.
"For India's citizens, we must try and better Ease of Living. It will help us achieve the aspirations of Indians and make their lives better," he said.
Over the last few years, there have been opening of bank accounts, increase in vaccination and health facilities, free electricity connection, free gas connection which have "empowered the poor", bringing phenomenal changes in their lives, he said.
"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," PM Modi said.
The agenda of today's meeting included agriculture, infrastructure, manufacturing, human resource development, service delivery at grassroots level and health and nutrition.
This meeting was the first to be attended by the newly formed Union Territory of Ladakh. Jammu and Kashmir participated as well.
The governing council of the Niti Aayog meets regularly and its first meeting took place on February 8, 2015. The council did not meet last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.