Niti Aayog council meet can bring historic change: PM Modi

New Delhi [India], June 17 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday addressed the fourth meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog, in Rashtrapati Bhawan Cultural Centre. While welcoming the Chief Ministers and other delegates from across the nation, the Prime Minister reiterated that the Governing Council is a platform that can bring about "historic change." Keeping the flood-affected states in forefront, Prime Minister Modi assured that the Centre would provide all assistance to them, to deal with the flood situation. Tripura, Assam, Mizoram and Manipur are the four northeast states that have been badly affected by floods over the past few days. While chairing the day-long meeting, which includes Union Ministers, Chief Ministers from the States, Lieutenant Governors of Union Territories and senior officials from the Government of India, the Prime Minister said the Governing Council has approached complex issues of governance as 'Team India', in the spirit of cooperative, competitive federalism. He described the smooth rollout and implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) as an example of this. PM Modi said that Chief Ministers of States had played a key role in policy formulation, through sub-groups and committees on issues such as Swachh Bharat Mission, Digital Transactions, and Skill Development. The recommendations of these sub-groups have been incorporated by various Ministries of the Union Government, he added. He further stated that the Indian economy has grown at a healthy rate of 7.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017-18 and said it will be challenging now to take this growth rate to double digits, for which many more important steps have to be taken. He said that the vision of a New India by 2022, is now a resolve of the people of India. In this context, he mentioned the issues on the agenda today, including doubling of farmers income, development of aspirational districts, Ayushman Bharat, Mission Indradhanush, Nutrition Mission and celebrations of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The Prime Minister said that 1.5 lakh Health and Wellness Centres are being constructed under Ayushman Bharat and 10 crore families will be provided health assurance worth Rs 5 lakh every year. A comprehensive approach is being adopted for education, under the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan, he added. The Prime Minister also said that schemes such as Mudra Yojana, Jan Dhan Yojana and Stand Up India, are helping in greater financial inclusion, and emphasised the need for tackling economic imbalances on priority. He said that all aspects and parameters of human development need to be addressed and improved upon in the 115 aspirational districts. Talking about the Gram Swaraj Abhiyan, he said it has emerged as a new model for implementation of schemes and the target was recently accomplished in about 17,000 villages. The Prime Minister added that this has so far been extended to 45,000 villages in the Aspirational Districts and the target is universal coverage in seven important welfare schemes: Ujjwala, Saubhagya, Ujala, Jan Dhan, Jeevan Jyoti Yojana, Suraksha Bima Yojana, and Mission Indradhanush. India has no shortage of capabilities, capacities and resources, PM Modi asserted. He said that in the current financial year, states are receiving over Rs 11 lakh crore from the Centre, which represents an increase of about Rs 6 lakh crore, from the last year of the previous government (Congress). The Prime Minister said Governing Council meeting represents the hopes and aspirations of the people of India and added that it is the responsibility of this gathering to make all efforts to fulfill them. Earlier, the Chief Ministers and other delegates were welcomed to the meeting by Vice Chairman of the NITI Aayog, Rajiv Kumar. The discussions are being moderated by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. The Governing Council of NITI Aayog is the premier body tasked with evolving a shared vision of national development priorities, sectors, and strategies with the active involvement of States in shaping the development narrative. (ANI)
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