Niti Aayog subgroup agrees on curtailing 147 central schemes to just 20-25

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
  • Updated: May 28, 2015 21:52 IST

The third meeting of Niti Aayog subgroup on rationalisation of centrally-sponsored schemes concluded on Thursday with a broad consensus on curtailing 147 central schemes to just 20-25.

Last meeting of the subgroup, which is acting as a catalyst to build a vibrant centre-state relationship, will now be held on June 13 in New Delhi, after which it will submit its recommendations to chairman of Niti Aayog, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said convener of the subgroup chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

"All states have come to an agreement that the Centre's share in centrally-sponsored schemes should not be less than 50%," Chouhan told reporters after the high-profile meeting.

He said that a scheme may have many elements, but the state should not be bound to adopt each.

He also said funding pattern of the schemes should remain same for at least five years.

There were 147 central schemes which were reduced to 66 recently and now government plans to bring them down to 20-25, the CM said.

Chouhan said that in a broad consensus it was decided that schemes should be divided in three categories.

First category is of schemes like MNREGA and mid-day meal that could be implemented across the nation. There are around 17 schemes in this category.

In the second category there are 33 schemes which have variation in funding pattern.

Third category comprises of 16 schemes, which either could be stopped or left to the state's discretion.

There should be about 25% flexi-fund in centrally-sponsored schemes. This would facilitate the states to spend funds in priority sectors. Centre should make funds available till 2017 to complete ongoing schemes.

Chief Minister of Nagaland TR Zeliang, Kerala Oommen Chandi, Arunachal Pradesh Nabam Tuki, Telangana R Chandrashekhar Rao, Jharkhand's CM Raghubar Das and Lt Governor of Andaman and Nicobar AK Singh participated in the meeting.

Representatives of chief ministers of Rajasthan, Jammu-Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh were also present.

NITI Ayog's CEO Sindhushri Khullar, vice-chairman of State Planning Commission Babulal Jain, finance minister Jayant Malaiya, chief secretary Anthony de Sa, ACS finance Ajay Nath, ACS planning Ajita Vajpayee Pandey, principal secretary finance Ashish Upadhyay, principal secretary planning K Suresh and secretary finance Aniruddha Mukherjee were also present.

Suggestions put forward by CMs

Telangana CM K Chandrashekhar Rao said the states should neither be burdened nor any reduction made in their share. He said that the states declared surplus have been affected financially. "Central share in centrally sponsored schemes should not be less than 80% even if optional schemes have to be curtailed," he said.

Nagaland CM TR Zeliang said northeastern states should be paid special attention in centrally sponsored schemes. Schemes like BRGF should continue. Police modernisation should continue. Special status of northeastern states, including Nagaland, should continue.

Kerala CM Oommen Chandi suggested that special central schemes for Kerala be chalked out as the Kerala was a coastal state. He said that states should not suffer loss due to new funding pattern. "Whatever (funds) states were getting should not be curtailed," he said.

Jharkhand CM Raghubar Das said that Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF) should be extended for two years so that funds under it could be fully utilised. There should be a formula to give more share to enriched states. "Funds for Centrally-sponsored schemes should not be given after January since these cannot be fully utilized till end of financial year," he said.

Arunachal Pradesh CM Nabam Tuki was of the view that funds for Central schemes should be provided in two installments -the first installment must be released in May and the second in November.

Andaman and Nicobar lieutenant governor AK Singh maintained every Union Territory had different requirements. Therefore, separate funding patterns should be adopted for them.

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