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NITI Aayog to tone up delivery

Arvind Panagariya, Vice-Chairman, Niti Aayog, welcoming Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje in New Delhi on Friday.- Photo: Shanker Chakravarty

Arvind Panagariya, Vice-Chairman, Niti Aayog, welcoming Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje in New Delhi on Friday.- Photo: Shanker Chakravarty  

Funding of Central schemes to undergo further changes

At its first meeting here on Friday, a sub-group of Chief Ministers of the NITI Aayog decided to set up a working group to recommend steps to make Centrally sponsored schemes more effective and their implementation by the States more flexible.

The working group will prepare a draft report on the basis of the discussions at Friday’s meeting, which will be taken up for discussion at the next meeting of the panel on April 27, said Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, convener of the sub-group of 11 Chief Ministers.

NITI Aayog chief executive officer Sindhushree Khullar will head the working group.

Since the Union government has, in accordance with the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission, decided to increase the States’ share of Central taxes to 42 per cent from 32 per cent, the funding pattern of the Central schemes is expected to undergo further changes. Mr. Chouhan said the sub-group would discuss this aspect.

The Union Finance Ministry proposed in the Centre’s fiscal policy strategy statement that the expenditure on 30 such schemes, which has already been taken into account as State expenditure, be transferred to the States. The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and the National Food Security Act are neither being discontinued nor transferred as they are being implemented under laws passed by Parliament.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayed and Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das were among those who attended the meeting.

At its first meeting on February 8, the Governing Council of the NITI Aayog, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, constituted three sub-groups of Chief Ministers — on rationalisation of the Central schemes, skill development and the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan.

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