Free Press Journal

Prime Minister Modi seeks states’ support for growth


New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday that states need to work together for what he calls a vision to create a “New India” while addressing a meeting of the Niti Aayog’s governing council that was skipped by chief ministers Mamata Banerjee and Arvind Kejriwal — two of his staunchest critics.

The Niti Aayog is the country’s top-most policy making body, and its governing council has among its members the Prime Minister and all chief ministers of the country.

Sunday’s meeting was called to discuss a ‘15-year vision document’ that would lay down the roadmap for India’s growth, economically and socially. “The Niti Aayog is working on a 15-year-long term vision, 7-year medium term strategy, and 3-year action agenda…This effort needs support of states,” the PMO quoted Modi as saying in his opening statement.

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The country is trying to push its GDP growth to upwards of 7.5% after it slipped to 7.1% in 2016-17 from 7.9% a year ago due to the demonetisation drive in November last.

Among those efforts is the rollout of a new indirect taxation regime, the GST, which the PM referred to on Sunday to drive home his point about federal cooperation. “Consensus on GST will go down in history as a great illustration of cooperative federalism,” Modi said, adding, “GST reflects the spirit of one nation, one aspiration, one determination.”

The PM also called for discussions on a plan to hold simultaneous parliamentary and state elections.