Honourable Prime Minister, respected Vice Chairman NITI Aayog, and fellow Chief Ministers, Ministers, senior officials and friends.
It is with immense happiness that I attend the meeting of NITI Aayog, which provides a platform on which the Centre and the States can exchange views on matters relating to both.
However, I do remember that the erstwhile Planning Commission which dealt with the issues of the states was really a forum for consultation, which to a certain extent stood apart with some sort of a true federal spirit. Let me take the liberty to not mince words in telling you that the NITI Aayog is in no way a real substitute for the erstwhile Planning Commission. It is rather unfortunate that the forum of polemics and debate gets shrunk day by day. Earlier we had fora like the National Development Council, Inter State Council etc. All these have almost become defunct now. The only forum left for raising the issues of the State is this one. That is why I said that I am happy to get associated with this, at the outset. (more…)