The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has called upon State Governments to work with the Union Government, as "Team India," to build the India of the dreams of our freedom fighters by 2022.
Delivering the closing remarks at the third meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog, he urged States, local Governments and all Government and Non-Government organizations to decide goals for 2022, and work in mission mode towards achieving them.
Describing the discussions at the meeting as constructive, the Prime Minister said that the circulated vision document is a draft, and all suggestions given by the Chief Ministers will be taken into account before finalizing it. He laid emphasis on good governance and said it leads to optimum utilization of resources, even when resources are less than desired.
The Prime Minister noted that the theme of regional imbalance was raised by a number of Chief Ministers. He agreed that this has to be addressed on priority, both nationally, and within States.
Noting the invitation given by the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, the Prime Minister suggested that States could organize events there. He also seconded the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister's suggestion that States should take interest in the students from her State who are studying in other States. He urged States to reach out to these students from time to time.
The Prime Minister reiterated that the legislative arrangements at the State-level for GST should be put in place without delay.
Modi called upon States to use the GeM platform - Government e-Marketplace, to reduce corruption and increase transparency in Government procurement. He said the use of technologies such as BHIM and Aadhaar would result in significant savings for the States.
He said that the District Mineral Fund, the CAMPA Fund, and the construction workers welfare fund, would provide significant boost to the resources of the State. He asked NITI Aayog to come up with a roadmap for better utilization of such funds by the States.
He urged States to join the Ek-Bharat, Shresth Bharat initiative, which was launched on Sardar Patel's birth anniversary last year. He said India's richness of culture and heritage should no longer be ignored.
The PM said a constructive discussion has begun on the subject of holding Union and State elections simultaneously. The Prime Minister said that for long, India had suffered from economic and political mismanagement. He said that because of poor time management, many good initiatives and schemes had failed to deliver the anticipated results. He emphasized on the need to develop robust arrangements that could function amidst diversity.
Modi mentioned the advancing of the budget presentation date. Stating that in a country where agricultural income is exceedingly important, budgets should be prepared immediately after the receipt of agricultural incomes for the year. He said that there have been suggestions to have the financial year from January to December. He urged States to take the initiative in this regard.