Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has sought a change of policy in the allocation of funds by the Centre from the existing scheme-specific to sector-centric at the first meeting of the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi on Sunday.
Mr. Rao sought the change by explaining that the scheme-specific fund allocation was leading to discrimination in availing Central funds by some States, whose requirements were elsewhere in the same sector than in the scheme specified by the Centre. Sources told The Hindu that Mr. Rao had cited the examples of the Centre’s fund allocation for schemes to fight tuberculosis and to improve enrolment of children in schools by opening new schools.
The Chief Minister told the meeting that the incidence of TB was not rampant in Telangana and funds were required in other areas of health sector such as fighting viral fevers and some seasonal communicable diseases. Similarly, in school education, the State’s stress was on improving the quality of education and not enrolment, he said.
As the Chief Ministers were given only three minutes each at the NITI Aayog meeting, the presentation of Mr. Chandrasekhar Rao too was short, the sources said adding that he had explained several welfare schemes initiated by the State government including enhanced social security pensions, enhanced quota of rice at Re. 1-a-kg, financial assistance for marriages of girls in poor families of SC, ST and minority communities.
Along with several other Chief Ministers, Mr. Rao had sought continuation of all the existing 66 Centrally-sponsored schemes and devolution of funds for such schemes in single instalment. He offered to participate in the Prime Minister’s “Make in India” programme by encouraging manufacturing sector with the help of new industrial policy unveiled by the State recently.