The media in India discuss Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s focus on giving states more independence in running development schemes. Mr Modi on Sunday discussed his government’s development agenda with chief ministers of states at the first meeting of his new policy commission.
His government set up the new National Institution for Transforming India (Niti) to replace the socialist-era Planning Commission in early January. The new organisation has been tasked to serve as a policy think-tank for the central as well as state governments with the PM as its chairperson. Papers see the PM’s focus on “cooperative federalism” as a part of his strategy to spark competition among states.
Mr Modi said he envisioned different states competing with each other in promoting governance initiatives, in a spirit of “cooperative, competitive federalism”, The Economic Times reported. It adds that the PM wants the federal government and states to come together to chart a common course to progress and prosperity with a focus on growth, investment and job creation. The PM also talked about loosening the federal government’s control over development schemes. The Indian Express reported that Mr Modi has asked Niti members to ascertain how many of the 66 centrally sponsored projects should be shelved or transferred to states.