PM Modi Stresses on Tech, Startups at 6th NITI Aayog Meet
Several key Cabinet ministers, chief ministers, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba and NITI Aayog members were present.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, 20 February, emphasised on the use of technology and the importance of strong startups to achieve the 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' (self-reliant India) goal at the sixth meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog.
The Prime Minister also stressed on 'zero defect, zero effect' mantra, which he gave in August 2014 to Indian entrepreneurs for better products – a direct reference to the need to make things without causing environmental harm.
"We should enhance the use of technology and focus on the opening of new startups to strengthen its expansion to achieve the goal of 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat'," Modi said.
He further praised the Union Budget 2021-22, which was presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman earlier this month and said that people have made up their minds about what they want.
“In this year's budget, the fund provided for infrastructure is also being discussed a lot. It will help the economy of India and create a lot of employment opportunities. It will have a multiplier effect,” he said.
'No State Talked About Farm Laws': Rajiv Kumar
NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar and CEO Amitabh Kant addressed the media after the meeting and reiterated the points made by the PM.
Kumar said that six items were in focus during the meeting – making India a manufacturing powerhouse, reimagining agriculture, improving physical infrastructure, accelerating human resource development, service delivery at the grassroots level, and health and nutrition.
Kumar said that the next census will be a digitised one and emphasised on pushing forward the development agenda. He urged the state governments to give opportunities to the private sector.
"Nobody spoke about the farm laws during today's meeting," Kumar added.
However, news agency PTI, reported that Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh raised several issues in his pre-recorded speech for the meeting, such as farm laws, COVID-19 vaccination and GST compensation.
Ensure Early Resolution of Farmers' Stir: Punjab CM to PM
Expressing serious concern over the threat to the state's agriculture as a result of the “disruption caused by the three new farm laws”, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh urged the PM Modi to ensure urgent resolution of the ongoing farm unrest by the Centre “to the satisfaction of the protesting farmers by addressing to their grievances.”
Calling for the fullest respect for the ‘annadaata’, the Chief Minister, through his speech at the meeting, reiterated his government’s stand that agriculture is a state subject and law-making on it should be left to the states in the true spirit of “cooperative federalism” enshrined in the Constitution.
In this context, he pointed to the state amendments already passed to the central legislations by the Vidhan Sabha in October 2020.
However, Singh could not attend the meeting as he was indisposed.
Allow Elected Governments to Function: Odisha CM
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said it's high time the country should get out of this election mode and allow the elected government to function.
"Every crime is being politicised, every action of an elected government is being seen from a political angle. This kind of atmosphere is one of the biggest threats to the pace of development and peace in the country. Its high time the country gets out of this election mode and allows elected governments to function," said the Chief Minister.
He also called upon a serious deliberation on the past promises of national parties on women's reservation both in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies.
Several key Cabinet ministers, chief ministers, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba and NITI Aayog members were present at the virtual meet.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee gave it a miss. She had earlier also skipped the Niti Aayog's meetings and termed it as a "fruitless" exercise, alleging that the body has "no financial power" and cannot support state plans.
(With IANS inputs.)
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