Letters: Cooperative federalism: M G Warrier

Letters: Cooperative federalism: Hopefully, the coming days will see NITI Aayog revisiting 'concurrent subjects'...

Cooperative federalism
With reference to “CMs want a more consultative NITI Aayog” (April 24), Prime Minister Modi has taken forward his commitment to rebuild the Planning Commission that he made from the ramparts of Red Fort in his Independence Day speech in 2014 with all sincerity. There has been visible effort from the government to professionalise governance at various levels and across institutional structures. The inadequacies being felt emanate more from the stagnant status of reforms.
In the Sunday meeting of NITI Aayog, in addition to the development agenda with long-term perspective, keeping a 15-year time span, issues like change in financial year from April-March to January-December and simultaneous elections to Parliament and state assemblies were mooted. It is comforting to see that serious discussions over issues on which difference in perceptions across states and political denominations are inevitable are happening at NITI Aayog in a cordial manner. Perhaps one significant takeaway for representatives of Parliament and state legislatures who attended the meeting could be the
orderly manner in which deliberations can take place. The dissent expressed by two CMs by deputing representatives and the criticism of NITI Aayog by the Kerala chief minister in particular are pointers to more efforts needed to make Modi’s dream of “cooperative federalism” in governance come true.
Hopefully, the coming days will see NITI Aayog revisiting “concurrent subjects”, considering legislative reforms in the administration of justice to fast track reforms in other sectors and to support economic development, social security and to ensure overall improvement in governance. Three other important issues awaiting attention are professionalising management of political parties, mapping of the nation’s “hidden” resources and reforms relating to production, pricing and marketing in the farm sector. All issues are inter-related and disentangling may need unreserved support from citizens who are the ultimate beneficiaries.

M G Warrier | Mumbai


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