SPEECH OF SHRI MANOHAR LAL CHIEF MINISTER, HARYANA DELIVERED AT THE FIRST MEETING OF THE GOVERNING COUNCIL OF NITI AAYOG, FEBRUARY 8, 2015, 7 RACE COURSE, NEW DELHI 8-02-2015
Hon’ble Prime Minister, Hon’ble Union Ministers, Hon’ble Chief Ministers, Vice Chairman and Members of the NITI Aayog and Senior Officers of the Union and the States.
- I would like to begin by congratulating Hon’ble Prime Minister for acting so promptly on the promises made to the people of India from the ramparts of the Red Fort on Independence Day last year. That day the Hon’ble Prime Minister had promised to strengthen our federal structure and to make it vibrant. A joint team of the Centre and the States was envisioned to lead the country forward to its next stage of development. By creating the NITI Aayog and this Governing Council, the Hon’ble Prime Minister has provided us the platform for this new partnership. I am sure that under his able stewardship the Union and States will function as an organic team and shall become active partners in this unique model of cooperative federalism. I am positive that the NITI Aayog shall give shape to the aspirations of a billion Indians by taking into consideration their needs and requirements while coordinating the process for attaining our country’s dreams. I feel privileged to be part of this transformative process of taking India forward.
- 2. In the past decades the pace of development across India has varied and the needs of the States have also differed depending upon the stage of their development. Since the needs of States at different levels of economic and social development have not been uniform, I would reiterate my request that the NITI Aayog must begin by accepting that the States are not homogenous, and the Governing Council must keep this fact in view while collectively deliberating upon the subjects on the agenda of the Aayog and while doing the groundwork for defining the national goals, the sectoral targets and the achievable indicators.
- 3. As you would recall, in our last meeting on December 7, 2014 had stated that while charting out the national strategies for sectoral growth, we were in the past unable to keep up with the changing realities that included a proactive and rapidly expanding private sector, shifting global imperatives and the fact that States are becoming growth engines on their own, attracting foreign investments besides creating fresh employment opportunities. Acknowledging these new realities, once the NITI Aayog sets the national priorities, the sectoral targets and the achievable indicators, I would suggest that the States be asked to objectively define their present stage of preparedness for achieving these priorities and then they should themselves pragmatically chalk out their strategies for attaining these national goals through an optimal allocation of their available resources. I would urge the Aayog to take into consideration this self assessment by the States while allowing flexibility to States to device individual strategies for attaining the sectoral targets set by the NITI Aayog.
- 4. While suggesting the interface amongst the various stakeholder of the Aayog, I would once again complement the Hon’ble Prime Minister for setting up the Governing Council. I believe that this Council should encourage debate and articulation of long and medium term goals for each sector of the economy. It should also be the forum for coordination among States for issues of national importance like water, energy and sustainable living, and for promotion of mega infrastructure projects of strategic importance. It should facilitate resolution of inter State differences. I agree fully that this Council should look at pursuing key futuristic and flagship initiatives like Swachh Bharat Mission, Make in India, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Skill India and Digital India, etc. that have the potential for national and social transformation. To support this Council, I suggest that a Secretarial for this Council be set up. This Secretariat may have members from the Government of India and rotational representation from all States. The deliberations in this Secretariat should have scope for a dynamic interaction with State talents and experts. The issues finalized in this Secretariat should be placed in the Governing Council for consideration and adoption.
- 5. I am happy to note that while creating the Regional Councils, our suggestion to classify States into homogeneous groups on the basis of their socio-economic indicators, their future needs and available resources has been accepted. The representative State from each of these groups shall reflect the priorities and needs of its group in the Secretariat of the Governing Council that will do the groundwork for the goal setting and reviewing progress. Each State in the Regional Council shall by rotation be given a chance to be part of the Secretariat of the Governing Council. The success of this model will be dependent on the interface with the States.
- 6. As regards the permanent Secretariat for the Regional Councils, I suggest that each of these Secretariats must co-opt representative and domain experts from the member States as well as from the Government of India. There should be a greater scope for experts from the private sector, academia and think tanks on need basis. These Secretariats should have the ability to define the agenda for their Regional Councils besides providing meaningful inputs for the Governing Council agenda.
- 7. Haryana proposes that in the future Central Plan assistance should be automatic and on an annual basis for the identified national goals. The individual States should be given the freedom to choose the optional path/strategy/eligibility criteria for achieving the set national objectives in the time frame defined by the national forum. This freedom to formulate need based strategies shall not only encourage innovation in the State governance, it may allow for path breaking new State initiatives especially in the social sectors and in projects with a long gestation period.
- 8. As the future Central Plan Assistance is proposed to be released automatically each year to all States for the national goals identified by the NITI Aayog, the ritual of annual plan approval may be discontinued. I am further suggesting that future devolution of the Central Plan Assistance should be on a formula different from the Gadgil-Mukherjee formula. As you are aware, the Union Budget allocates about 59% of the central plan funds as central plan assistance to States and the balance 41% of central plan funds are allocated in the form of Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS). The straight jacketed conditionalities of the CSS do not allow any flexibility to meet the local needs. This results in States either confirming to a uniform eligibility and strategic posture or losing the resource allocation. This rules out the possibility of different strategies for social and economic growth, especially for States that are at different benchmark levels. Also such allocation hinders growth in areas which are ripe for it, and expects a common and very average performance from all States. I further propose that the present classification of public expenditure into plan and non plan expenditure also needs to be modified. Thus, the Central Plan Assistance should continue as an automatic general transfer and the CSS funds should be released as sector specific grants. The micro planning and strategizing for individual schemes should be left to the States. The broad parameters for spending should be provided to the States at the time of the sectoral allocation of funds. The expected annual and long term outcomes must also be defined. Thereafter, the NITI Aayog could hold State-wise sectoral reviews of the progress as indicated in the schematic design of States through the Regional Councils.
- 9. The 12th Five Year Plan for Haryana was approved at Rs. 90,000 crore for the period of 2012-17. Against this allocation the State has achieved about Rs. 47,971 crore during the first three years of the 12th Five Year Plan period. During the current financial year 2014-15, the Central Plan Scheme releases have not been in keeping with the budgetary provisions. Thus, I propose that during the transition period and for the remaining years of the 12th plan the centrally sponsored schemes (CSS) should be dismantled and one third of these funds be allocated to the States as flexi-funds for achieving the sectoral targets. Further, for calculating the annual allocation under the Plan for the years 2015-16 and 2016-17, I would propose a 15% annual increase on the base year allocation of 2013-14. As regards the fund allocation for the 13th five year plan period I would suggest a project based strategy of central funding. Sectors like education and health where providing ‘education for all’ and ‘health for all’ are national priorities the funding to States should be assured for a time perspective longer than a Five Year Plan keeping in view the likely time to achieve the goals. For other sectors of the economy I would suggest a project based approach be adopted. As already stated earlier, allocation of funds in terms of plan and non plan expenditure be dispensed. On the other hand, every State must set capital investment targets keeping in view their development requirements, infrastructure gaps and the goals to be achieved.
- 10. As regards funding of national programs with long gestation periods, it is observed that Five Year Plans have often disturbed the funding pattern of large programs after the 5 year plan period, placing the burden of these programs thereafter on the State exchequer. It is therefore proposed that for programs with long implementation periods, the funding assurance period should be on a longer review cycle depending upon the likely date of completion. The annual deliverables for such long term funding would however need to be defined for each program and for each factor of the programs to be implemented across States. I am also proposing annual reviews for such long term funding with outside experts being part of the review mechanism in order to ensure a transparent and global perspective. I fully support the idea of Project Monitoring Groups and Project Mentors to support, monitor and oversee national infrastructure projects.
- 11. As India faces a huge infrastructure gap, I believe that States must be allowed greater flexibility to raise funds from the market to finance infrastructure projects. A method for mopping up market resources is to allow designated State entities to issue tax free bonds to finance infrastructure projects. 12. Haryana surrounds the national capital New Delhi on three sides. 45.47% of the geographical area of Haryana falls in the National Capital Region (NCR). This is one of the fastest growing economic regions of the country with a vast potential for creating employment opportunities for millions as well as for contributing to the national economy. It is already a major hub for manufacturing as well as for services industries. Constant capital investment is required for the maintenance of the existing infrastructure as well for creation of new infrastructure in the region. The three States constituting the NCR outside the NCT limits cannot create desirable infrastructure facilities with their own funds. The NCR is our national priority and quality infrastructure in the NCR must become a national responsibility. The quality of the road network, the mass rapid transport system, housing, power, water supply and other infrastructure to cater to the future megapolis of the NCR cannot be funded by the States that constitute the NCR. It is, therefore, suggested that this area should be declared a zone of strategic national interest and a special annual financial support be provided for this region in the Union Budget to ensure creation of appropriate infrastructure in this region. I would request that this be announced as a policy initiative in the 2015-16 Union Budget itself. The NITI Aayog must recognize this and provide special infrastructure funding for this purpose.
- 13. The recent major initiatives taken by the Hon’ble Prime Minister to focus on some of the key challenges facing our nation today shall transform India in a time bound manner as we are committed to work in unison to achieve these goals. Haryana wholeheartedly supports these initiatives and has begun work in full earnest on these key initiatives detailed at Annexure IV to the Agenda. Before I provide an overview of our efforts, I would like to thank the Hon’ble Prime Minister for launching the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao and the Sukanya Samriddhi account programs from Haryana last month. My Government is geared up to work hard to give the girl child her rightful place in Haryana. The twelve target districts have already prepared their action plans and have begun social mobilization and community awareness campaigns with the active participation of the social, political and non governmental agencies to ensure the survival and education of the girl child.
- 14. Haryana started the Swachch Haryana Swachch Bharat Abhiyaan in order to provide total sanitation solutions in Haryana in a time bound manner. An action plan defining our targets and tasks up to 2019 has been formulated. We are also engaging stakeholders from all walks of life and making them aware of the benefits of a clean and sanitary environment. Solid and liquid waste management is a priority for my Government. We are now also extending the facilities of sewerage treatment and waste disposal to Gram Panchayats in order to make these more liveable. Haryana is committed to creating a clean environment for its people. A clean Yamuna is also part of that vision. We are creating efficient sewerage systems by discharging treated effluent in the River Yamuna. With the construction of these Sewage Treatment Plants, the pollution level in the River Yamuna has decreased from BOD of 6 mg/L (before construction of STP) to 1.7 mg/L (the permissible limit being 3 mg/L). Thus the objectives of Namami Gange are being converged with the Swachch Haryana Swachch Bharat Abhiyaan efforts in my State.
- 15. Haryana is a water deficit state with respect to surface and ground water resources. The ground water level in the State particularly in the fresh water zone is depleting fast due to heavy exploitation of ground water. In order to conserve water Haryana has taken multi pronged initiatives enacted the Haryana State Preservation of Sub Soil Water Act, 2009. The Agriculture Department has introduced a Scheme for Accelerated Recharge to Ground Water to recharge the ground water in water deficit areas of the State. It is also encouraging the farmers to adopt Micro irrigation systems to economize the use of irrigation water besides creating water harvesting structures to conserve water. Massive Awareness Campaign has been launched to educate the farmers regarding conservation of groundwater and judicious use of irrigation water. Farmers are being advised to grow less water intensive crops. In accordance with the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana, District Irrigation Plans are proposed to be prepared on a pilot basis in four districts in Financial Year 2015-16.
- 16. The State of Haryana is also committed to fulfilling the legitimate expectations of the farmers and people of Haryana regarding provision of adequate water through early completion of the Sutlej-Yamuna Link canal and the Hansi-Butana canal. The State Government is soon going to seek an early hearing and adjudication in the Presidential Reference pending before the Supreme Court. The Government of Haryana also intends to file a suit challenging the Punjab Termination of Agreements Act, 2004 enacted by Punjab. I am specifically raising this issue because the increasing demands for water from the National Capital Territory of Delhi can be reasonably met only after fulfilling the needs and requirements of the people of Haryana. 17. Haryana is presently formulating a new Industrial policy through consultation with the stakeholders. This policy shall incorporate ease of doing business, both for establishing new units and operating existing units. The policy will seek to streamline estate management procedures, provide single window service on a digital platform, self certification, third party verification and deemed approval to ensure time bound sanctions/approvals. With special focus on MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) the policy will seek to ensure geographical dispersal of industrial units for balanced regional development. Support from the Central Government for skill development, infrastructure up-gradation including tool rooms, quality certification and cluster development, specific to the requirement of State (e.g. fund processing industries, textiles, auto components etc.) will be critical for rapid industrial development within the frame work of the objectives of ‘Make in India’. As part of Skill India, Haryana has undertaken a skill gap analysis and thereafter set a target of skilling 17 lakh youth up to 2017. At present the skill capacity of various departments in the formal as well as the non-formal sectors is 3,30,000 persons per annum. Haryana is also actively participating in the labour law reform initiatives of the Ministry of Labour which focus on simplification and computerization of procedures. Haryana is also participating in the Shram Suvidha Portal launched by the Government of India. An initiative of the Transparent Inspection Scheme to check the arbitrariness of the inspecting officers has also been introduced in Haryana. It is mandatory for the inspecting officer to upload the inspection reports within 72 hours on the departmental website to be integrated with the Shram Suvidha Portal. Haryana has taken further initiative to identity all the hazardous units in the State with GPS mapping. The information relating to the quantity of hazardous chemicals being used/ stored along with the antidotes of the chemicals would also be reflected on the GPS map for easy access during emergency for rescue operations.
- 18. Haryana is aware of the dangers of the drug menace. In order to prevent the use of drugs, alcohol and narcotic substances the State has taken initiatives in both urban and rural areas to set-up institutions like Drug De-addiction Centres.
- 19. In keeping with the Housing for All vision, the State is preparing a new housing and habitat policy that shall cover all housing categories (EWS, LIG and MIG). The State also proposes to bring in greater transparency in granting ‘change in land use’ and housing licenses by bringing in the relevant policy interventions. It would also be our endeavour to redevelop unauthorized colonies and slums in partnership with their residents. We also wish to encourage planned urban development in medium and low potential areas, by suitably amending our policies. The State requests that Smart Cities be selected based on the criteria of economic potential, availability of adequate infrastructure, skilled manpower and power. As many towns of Haryana qualify under such criteria, we request that at least five towns of the State be selected to be developed as Smart Cities.
- 20. Under the National Solar Mission, Haryana is committed to fulfilling its Solar Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) which is presently at 3%. Haryana is the first State in the country where installation of Solar Power Plants on roof top for certain specified categories of buildings has been made mandatory. Appropriate incentive schemes are being formulated for encouraging the owners of buildings to install roof top solar plants. Haryana is also contemplating setting up 400 MW of roof top power plants in next 5 years.
- 21. The State has aligned its vision with three focus areas of the Government of India’s Digital India Mission. These three areas are the provision of Digital Infrastructure as a Utility to every citizen, the provision of Governance and Services on demand and the Digital Empowerment of Citizens. Work on all three initiatives is being monitored and expedited. The State is also beginning the process of integrating various databases to form a single State Resident Database. The Government has initiated steps for setting up of STPI (Software Technology Parks of India) at Panchkula, Rai and Rohtak and plans to provide direct and indirect employment to 15 lakh persons in the coming five years in this Sector. On the financial inclusion front, I am happy to inform that the Jan Dhan Yojana has achieved 100% coverage in Haryana with all the 48.58 lakh households now having at least one bank account. A total of 33.94 lakh bank accounts have been opened in the State in this campaign mobilising Rs. 551.42 crore (approx) as deposits in to these accounts.
- 22. My Government decided to raise the old age and other social security pensions from Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,200 per month from January 1, 2015. There will also be a regular increase of Rs. 200 in the pension amount every year for the next five years. As a result, the beneficiaries will draw Rs 2,000 per month at the end of five years. We disburse Rs. 268 crore every month as social security benefits to 22.6 lakh beneficiaries. The State shall soon ensure the direct transfer of these benefits into the beneficiary accounts. For better implementation of the programme we shall shortly integrate the Aadhaar data with the beneficiary data base. In another initiative PAHAL, of modified direct benefit transfer relating to subsidy on LPG cylinders for domestic use, Haryana has successfully implemented the scheme in all the 21 districts of the States. Thus 27.5 lakh consumers out of 44.14 lakh have already been enrolled under this scheme. We look forward to a 100% coverage in the coming months.
- 23. I conclude by stating that Haryana looks forward to actively participating in the Governing Council deliberations and to contributing its very best efforts to Team India’s national development agenda.
- Thank you.