In a unique departure from the past, PM Modi has stressed on the need to leverage co-operative & competitive federalism to achieve all round growth. For a long time, we have seen a Big Brother relationship between the Centre & States. A ‘One Size Fits All’ approach had been used for years, not taking into account the heterogeneity of different states and their local requirements.
The NITI Aayog was formed to further empower and strengthen the states. An important evolutionary change from the past will be replacing a Union-to-State one-way flow of policy by a genuine and continuing partnership with the states. NITI Aayog will act with speed, to provide the strategic policy vision for the government as well as deal with contingent issues.
NITI Aayog will work to evolve a shared vision of national development priorities, sectors and strategies with the active involvement of the states in the light of national objectives. The vision of the NITI Aayog will then provide a framework for a ‘national agenda’ for the Prime Minister and the Chief Ministers to provide impetus to. It will also foster collaborative federalism through structured support initiatives and mechanisms with the states on a continuous basis, recognizing that strong states make a strong nation. It will develop mechanisms to formulate credible plans at the village level and aggregate these progressively at higher levels.
In a landmark move, the NDA Govt at the Centre accepted the 14th Finance Commission’s recommendations. This states would get 42% shares of tax revenue as compared to 32% earlier. Though, this naturally leaves far less money with the Central Government, the Government of India has taken the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission in a positive spirit as they strengthen and provide autonomy to States in designing and implementing schemes as per their priorities and needs. This is an unprecedented increase, which would empower States in all possible ways - they would be allowed to chalk-out their programmes and schemes with greater financial strength and autonomy, while observing financial prudence and discipline.
In a novel initiative PM Modi was accompanied by two Chief Ministers on his visit to China. They participated in a landmark initiative: The Provincial Leaders Forum. This will usher in a new era of state to state co-operation.
In a major boost to the states, particularly the coal rich states of east India, a major portion of the proceeds from the successful coal auctions would go to the states helping them immensely.
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