Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a retreat at his residence on Sunday for all chief ministers and lieutenant governors of Union Territories, as part of the first meeting of the governing council of the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog.
Government sources said the PM was keen to have an exclusive chat with the chief ministers on their expectations regarding the 2015-16 budget and their suggestions for “effective” implementation of 12 pet programmes of the PM.
The Prime Minister’s Office has sought suggestions from the chief ministers on Modi’s projects such as Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Make in India, Digital India and Skill India.
“The projects are considered transformational and any suggestions for its better implementation would be highly appreciated,” a government official said.
Sources said the role of NITI Aayog in monitoring Modi’s projects would be high on the agenda in its first meeting on February 6, which will also witness Modi’s first visit to Yojana Bhavan after taking over as the PM.
Modi had visited the Bhavan for almost a decade as chief minister of Gujarat and in his last meeting in 2013 had presented his view on the changes needed in the erstwhile Planning Commission.
The chief ministers have also been asked to give their suggestions on Central fund flow to the state governments. The government plans to increase the central assistance --- direct flow of funds to the states — to about 80% of the plan budget to give more power to the states in line with Modi’s concept of cooperative federalism.
The officials also say that the chief ministers have been asked not to read out long speeches at the meeting so that there could be time for discussion on the issues and the proposed work plan for the NITI Aayog.
The officials said that some important decisions on the new initiatives to be taken up by the NITI Aayog are likely to be made at the meeting. NITI Aayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya is also expected to brief the council about the proposed work plan of the panel.