The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi today delivered the opening remarks at the fourth meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog, in Rashtrapati Bhawan Cultural Centre in New Delhi.
Welcoming the Chief Ministers and other delegates, the Prime Minister reiterated that the Governing Council is a platform that can bring about “historic change.” He assured the Chief Ministers from flood-affected States that the Union Government would provide all assistance to them, to deal with the flood situation currently affecting parts of the country.
He said that 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 GST as a prime example of this.
The Prime Minister 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.
The Prime Minister said that the Indian Economy has grown at a healthy rate of 7.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017-18. He added that the challenge now is 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 our country. 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. He said about 10 crore families will be provided health assurance worth Rs. 5 lakhs every year. He said a comprehensive approach is being adopted for education, under the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan.
The Prime Minister said that schemes such as Mudra Yojana, Jan Dhan Yojana and Stand Up India, are helping in greater financial inclusion. He emphasized 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.
Shri Narendra Modi said that the Gram Swaraj Abhiyan has emerged as a new model for implementation of schemes. He said that this has so far been extended to 45,000 villages in the Aspirational Districts. He said that the target is universal coverage in seven important welfare schemes: Ujjwala, Saubhagya, Ujala, Jan Dhan, Jeevan Jyoti Yojana, Suraksha Bima Yojana, and Mission Indradhanush. He said this target was recently accomplished in about 17,000 villages.
The Prime Minister said that India has no shortage of capabilities, capacities and resources. He said that in the current financial year, States are receiving over 11 lakh crore rupees from the Centre, which represents an increase of about 6 lakh crore rupees, from the last year of the previous government.
The Prime Minister said that this gathering today represents the hopes and aspirations of the people of India. He said it is also the responsibility of this gathering to make all efforts to fulfil them.
Earlier, the Chief Ministers and other delegates were welcomed to the meeting by Vice Chairman of the NITI Aayog, Shri Rajiv Kumar. The discussions are being moderated by Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh.