Prime Minister Narendra Modi constituted three sub-groups of chief ministers to rationalise 66 centrally sponsored schemes, to recommend the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog’s role in promoting skill development in states and to make Swachh Bharat (clean India) part of "one’s life in perpetuity".
Chairing the first meeting of the governing council of the NITI Aayog consisting of all chief ministers and lieutenant governors of Union territories, Modi said poverty could not be eliminated without growth, investment and job creation and for that, the states and the Centre needed to work together.
He also asked states to adopt “cooperative, competitive federalism” to fulfill their role in achieving national objectives in line with his Team India — the Centre and the states — concept.
He also said the Centre wished to empower the states with finances, technology and knowledge.
A lot of states have demanded either curtailment of the centrally sponsored schemes or increasing the flexi-fund component so that they can implement the schemes as per their needs.
Arun Jaitley said the committee would look into all the suggestions and will submit its report within one and a half months.
The PM also highlighted that poverty elimination was the biggest challenge India was facing and for that, jobs needed to be created.
He also asked states to set up a task force on “poverty alleviation” that would work in close coordination with the NITI Aayog. However, no time frame for eliminating poverty has been set yet.
The PM also asked the states to constitute a similar task force for agriculture sector so that a push can be given to the sector reeling under crises in the recent past.
Jaitley informed another sub-group of CMs to recommend how NITI Aayog can promote skill development and creation of skilled manpower within states has also been constituted. The third task force of CMs is to decide on institutional mechanisms to be evolved, and technological inputs, for ensuring that commitments of Swachh Bharat become part of one’s life in perpetuity.