Uttar Pradesh government has sought the intervention of federal policy think-tank Niti Aayog for the immediate release of more than Rs 46,000 crore in central funds.
About 49 UP government departments were to get a total of Rs 69,459 crore during 2019-20, of which the state had, in the first six months of the current fiscal (Apr-Sep), received only Rs 22,588 crore or less than a third of the allocation.
In his meeting with Niti Aayog vice chairman Rajiv Kumar in Lucknow on Friday, UP cabinet minister for MSME and export promotion Sidharth Nath Singh urged the central policy panel to impress upon the Centre to release the remaining funds totalling Rs 46,871 crore at the earliest.
Singh also discussed with the Niti Aayog cases pertaining to 19 state departments, which were still pending with the central government.
Meanwhile, the minister stressed on rejuvenating the 8 joint working groups with the Centre in the areas of health, education, nourishment, rural development, agriculture, drinking water, irrigation and industrial development.
Kumar assured the state government of facilitating an early release of the central funds apart from extending optimum cooperation to UP in other areas.
Interestingly, Singh is the chairman of the UP-Niti Aayog joint working group, which was constituted for taking up reorganisation of state departments for efficiency and transparency.
Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant and UP chief secretary are other members of the joint working group, tasked with preparing roadmap for faster socioeconomic development of UP according to the action points and indicators suggested by the Aayog.
Meanwhile, the Yogi Adityanath government is also mulling to restructure UP Planning Commission on the model of Niti Aayog to fostering greater harmony with the central schemes.
Niti Aayog, which earlier signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the state and created a joint working group, had suggested UP to restructure the Planning Commission on the lines of the central panel.
“We are looking at strengthening our Planning Commission and there was a suggestion from the Niti Aayog that the UP government could adopt the federal Niti Aayog structure,” Singh had earlier told Business Standard.
Since, Adityanath has pitched UP to become a $ trillion economy by 2024 in keeping with the ambitious target of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for India to achieve the $5 trillion mark in the next 5 years, the state government is striving to sync its programmes with the Centre.
At the same time, UP is in the process of cutting the state ministries’ flab for leaner government. In 2017, Niti Aayog, which had replaced the erstwhile vaunted Planning Commission at the Centre, had asked the state to reorganise ministries for accountability and swifter decision making. However, the proposal could not be implemented owing to various reasons, including elections.