NITI Aayog meet: High-powered panel to address water shortage, drought


New Delhi
The meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog, comprising the Chief Ministers chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, focused on water problem and drought and decided to form a high-powered committee to develop a comprehensive strategy to address them. The report of the committee will be submitted in two-three months, officials said.
The meeting, skipped by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and two other Chief Ministers, also deliberated upon the problems facing the agriculture sector as well as security challenges posed by terrorism and naxalism.
The Prime Minister laid thrust on cooperation between the Centre and the states with an objective of achieving the target of $ 5 trillion economy in five years. "The goal to make India a five-trillion-dollar economy by 2024 is challenging, but can surely be achieved. The states should recognise their core competence and work towards raising GDP targets right from the district level," he said.
The Prime Minister emphasized quadrupling exports, which is an important element in the progress of developing countries, and said both the Centre and the states should work towards growth in exports, in order to raise per capita incomes. The Prime Minister said that for this purpose, states should aim to increase their economy by 2 to 2.5 times. He said the common man's purchasing power would increase as a result.
NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar, while addressing media after the meeting said, "In Uttar Pradesh, for instance, one-district-one-product should be targeted from export perspective. Such a strategy will see a massive increase in exports."
The council, where states are represented by Chief Ministers, focused on re-orienting the strategy to address agricultural issues, especially by promoting agro-processing and developing agricultural supply-chain models, to attract investment, which could only succeed by developing a robust marketing system to promote and make agriculture competitive.

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On water woes, Modi said public participation should be at the core while developing appropriate interventions to solve water problems.
"Water conservation and irrigation require a massive effort, based on public participation. The Prime Minister recalled the letter that he recently wrote to all sarpanches, urging them for water conservation efforts in their villages," said a statement released by the government.
The meeting also focused on developing a robust governance models with respect to aspirational district programme, which aims to rapidly transform districts that have made slow progress in key social areas, and identified as pockets of under-development.
The meeting also deliberated on establishing India on a global benchmark such as ease of doing business.
The Prime Minister said the mining sector can provide significant employment opportunities, but bottlenecks in operationalising mines continue to exist in several states.

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First Published: Jun 15 2019 | 10:26 PM IST

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