Modi pitches for simultaneous polls; Jan-Dec fiscal year

Modi pitches for simultaneous polls; Jan-Dec fiscal year

15-yr vision document for new India

Modi pitches for simultaneous polls; Jan-Dec fiscal year

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday pushed for conducting the state Assembly polls and general elections simultaneously.   

Chairing the Niti Aayog’s Governing Council meeting here, Modi also said he was in favour of having a January to December financial year to benefit the country’s vast agriculture sector. 

He unveiled a 15-year vision document for ‘New India’ at the meeting, which was attended by the chief ministers of all the states, except Punjab, West Bengal, Sikkim and Manipur.

“Being a former chief minister, I am convinced that the vision of New India can only be realised through the combined effort and cooperation of all the states and chief ministers,” said Modi, who served as the chief minister of Gujarat for nearly 13 years before becoming the prime minister, in his opening remarks to the council, which met for the first time after it was formed in 2015.

During the meeting, attended by 171 officials, including senior Cabinet ministers, 300 specific action points were presented to speed up the economy. The prime minister urged the states to speed up capital expenditure and infrastructure creation, which would create jobs and help develop economic growth.

“We must move away from the old ways of doing things and think new. If resources are there, but governance is poor, there will be no result,” he said.

Aayog vice chairman Arvind Panagariya gave a presentation on the 15-year vision document, a seven-year medium-term strategy and a three-year action plan of Niti Aayog, even as it bid a formal goodbye to the Nehruvian-era five-year plans, with the 12th plan ending on March 31.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan gave a presentation on doubling farmers’ income by 2022, while Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao raised the issue of the farm sector facing huge labour shortage.

The chief ministers of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala drew attention to the drought situation in their states. Karnataka also raised concerns of a severe fund cut under central welfare schemes.

Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant spoke about 100 districts which were lagging behind on health, education and connectivity parameters, even as the prime minister said the country could progress faster if these districts performed well.