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National News

Feb 20, 2021

PM chairs 6th meeting of NITI Aayog Governing Council; calls for encouraging private sector involvement for Atmanirbhar Bharat

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday stressed that the Centre and states should work together and make cooperative federalism more meaningful. He also urged to bring competitive, cooperative federalism not only among states but also among districts.
Addressing the sixth meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog, Mr Modi said, India has made up its mind to progress rapidly and doesn't want to lose time. He said, the positive response received for this year's Budget has expressed the mood of the nation and the youth is playing a pivotal role in setting the mood. Mr Modi said Atmanirbhar Bharat campaign is the way to build an India that produces not only for its own needs but also for the world.
He said, country's private sector is also coming forward with energy. Prime minister said, the fund allocated for infrastructure in the current budget is highly appreciated and it will generate employment for thousands. Mr Modi said, since 2014, over 2.4 crore houses have been built in rural and urban India. He said, another innovative initiative is going on in which houses are being built by modern technology in six cities. In the last 18 months since Jal Jeevan Mission came into existence, Mr Modi highlighted, over 3.5 crore rural households have been connected with piped water connections. He said, BharatNet scheme has also become a major game changing feature to give internet connectivity to remote villages across the nation.
Prime Minister said the Central Government has introduced Production-Linked Incentive, PLI schemes for various sectors. He said, this is an excellent opportunity to increase manufacturing in the country and states should also take full advantage of this scheme and attract more and more investment. He said, policy framework and cooperation between Centre and state is also very important.
Mr Modi said, a holistic approach has been adopted over the years, from agriculture to animal husbandry to fisheries. He said, as a result, the country's agricultural exports have increased significantly even during Corona. Prime Minister said, ease of living and ease of doing business will go hand in hand. Laws and regulations have to be amended for brighter future of the nation. The Prime Minister stressed on the need to promote innovation and use technology as much as possible.
Mr Modi said, every state and every district in the country has a speciality and potential and government is shortlisting and value-adding to these thousands of products hailing from different districts through marketing for exports.
Mr. Modi highlighted in past few years, that opening of bank accounts, increase in vaccination and health facilities, free electricity connection, free gas connection to empower the poor has reflected a phenomenal change in their lives.
Prime Minister expressed happiness that during the COVID period people saw how the Centre and states worked together. Mr. Modi stressed that when India is going to complete 75 years of Independence, this Governing Council meet becomes even more significant.
The Prime Minister urged to focus on storage and processing of agricultural products to reduce wastage. He stressed on the need to export processed foods rather than raw foods to increase profits. Mr Modi said reforms are very important for our farmers to get the necessary economic resources, better infrastructure and modern technology.
The Prime Minister also emphasized on strengthening MSMEs and start-ups. He said, every State, every District, has its unique strengths and products should be shortlisted from every District and promoted which will create healthy competition among all Districts and States and help in boosting exports. 
Later briefing media after the meeting, NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Dr Rajiv Kumar said, the Sixth Governing Council Meeting came at a time where the nation is emerging from the challenges posed by COVID-19. He said, the forum saw key decision-makers charting out a way forward for the country to move forward. Dr Kumar said, national growth is dependent on the growth of States and Union Territories, for which we need to make a coherent effort. He said, the Sixth Governing Council Meeting paved the way for intensive and meaningful dialogue to create a consensus-based agenda. The NITI Aayog Vice Chairman said, at the meeting, six items were in focus, making India a manufacturing powerhouse, reimagining agriculture, improving physical infrastructure, accelerating human resource development, improving service delivery at grassroots level and health and nutrition. He said, India's fight against COVID-19 has seen a united front which is a perfect example of Cooperative Federalism and Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed the importance of moving forward in the same spirit as Team India.
NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant termed today's Meeting as constructive adding that States appreciated the reform agenda which has been accelerated by the Centre.
AIR correspondent reports that States and UTs mentioned efforts made to improve water accessibility, supply of quality and reliable power, internet connectivity, quality healthcare services, sustainable agricultural practices to mitigate the risks of climate change among other issues during the day-long meeting.
The Governing Council Meeting was attended by 26 Chief Ministers, three Lieutenant Governors and two Administrators, apart from Union Ministers, who are Ex-Officio Members, and Special Invitees. NITI Aayog Vice Chairman, Members and CEO, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister and other senior officers from PMO, Cabinet Secretary and Chief Secretaries of States and Union Territories also attended the meeting. The meeting was moderated by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

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