The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi yesterday delivered the opening remarks at the fifth meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog, in RashtrapatiBhawan Cultural Centre in New Delhi.
Welcoming the Governor of J&K, Chief Ministers, Lieutenant Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and other delegates, the Prime Minister reiterated that NITI Aayog has a key role to play in fulfilling the mantra of SabkaSaath, SabkaVikas, SabkaVishwas.
Recalling the recent General Elections as the world’s largest democratic exercise, the Prime Minister said that it is now time for everyone to work for the development of India. He spoke of a collective fight against poverty, unemployment, drought, flood, pollution, corruption and violence etc.
The Prime Minister said that everyone at this platform has a common goal of achieving a New India by 2022. He described Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and PM AwaasYojana as illustrations of what the Centre and the States can accomplish together.
The Prime Minister said that empowerment, and ease of living, have to be provided to each and every Indian. He said the goals that have been set for the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, should be accomplished by October 2nd, and work should begin in earnest towards the goals for 2022, the 75th anniversary of independence.
The Prime Minister stressed that the focus should be on collective responsibility for achieving short term and long term goals.
Shri Narendra Modi said that the goal to make India a 5 trillion dollar economy by 2024, is challenging, but can surely be achieved. He said States should recognise their core competence, and work towards raising GDP targets right from the district level.
Noting that the export sector is an important element in the progress of developing countries, he said both the Centre and the States should work towards growth in exports, in order to raise per capita incomes. He said there is immense untapped export potential in several States, including the North Eastern States. He said a thrust on export promotion at the State level will provide a boost to both income and employment.
Describing water as an important element for life, the Prime Minister said that the poor bear the brunt of insufficient water conservation efforts. He said that the newly created Jal Shakti Ministry will help provide an integrated approach to water. He urged States to also integrate their efforts towards water conservation and management. He said management of available water resources is a vital imperative. He said that the aim is to provide piped water to every rural home by 2024. He said attention has to be given to water conservation, and raising the water table. He appreciated the efforts made by several States towards water conservation and management. He said rules and regulations, such as model building bye-laws, also need to be framed for water conservation and management. He added that district irrigation plans under the the PM KrishiSinchaiYojana should be implemented carefully.
The Prime Minister called for effective steps to tackle drought. He said that the spirit of per-drop, more-crop needs to be promoted.
Reiterating the Union Government’s commitment to double incomes of farmers by 2022, he said this requires focus on fisheries, animal husbandry, horticulture, fruits and vegetables. He said that the benefits of PM-KISAN – KisanSammanNidhi – and other farmer centric schemes should reach the intended beneficiaries well within time. Noting that there is need for structural reform in agriculture, the Prime Minister spoke of the need to boost corporate investment, strengthen logistics, and provide ample market support. He said the food processing sector should grow at a faster pace than foodgrain production.
Turning to aspirational districts, the Prime Minister said that the focus should be on good governance. He said improvement in governance has led to remarkable progress in several aspirational districts. Giving several examples, he said out-of-the-box ideas, and innovative service delivery efforts in some of these districts have also delivered outstanding results.
The Prime Minister said that many aspirational districts are affected by Naxal violence. He said the battle against Naxal violence is now in a decisive phase. He said violence will be dealt with firmly, even as development proceeds in a fast-paced and balanced manner.
On the health sector, the Prime Minister said that several targets have to kept in mind, to be achieved by 2022. He also mentioned the target of eliminating TB by 2025. The Prime Minister urged those States who have not implemented PMJAY under Ayushman Bharat, so far, to come onboard this scheme at the earliest. He said health and wellness should be the focal point of every decision.
The Prime Minister said that we are now moving towards a governance system characterized by Performance, Transparency and Delivery. He said proper implementation of schemes and decisions is vital. He called upon all members of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog to help create a government setup which works, and has the trust of the people.