NITI Aayog Vice Chairperson Rajiv Kumar
National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Ayog on Thursday stressed that Uttar Pradesh was its topmost priority as it was key to the country’s economic development goals.
Niti Ayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar said India would develop only when UP was steadfast on its path of economic progress given its large size and population.
“We are satisfied with the progress made by the state, especially since June 2017, when specific timelines and parameters were set. In fact, UP has more than achieved the targets in a few parameters,” Kumar said talking to the media.
Earlier in the day, Kumar, Niti Ayog CEO Amitabh Kant and other senior officials had met UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. The team was in town for Creviewing the progress made in the different state sectors.
In consultation with Niti Ayog, the UP government had already constituted 9 committees related to various socioeconomic development verticals viz. nutrition, health, education, drinking water, rural development, irrigation, water resources, industry, agriculture and sanitation.
Under the incumbent Adityanath government, this was the second visit by top Ayog officials to Lucknow to engage in talks with the state government's officials concerned.
UP health minister and spokesperson Sidharth Nath Singh said Adityanath had told Niti Ayog that “UP chal pada hai’ (UP has gained momentum) and the new developmental policies were working out well.
“The CM observed that UP was home to 1/6th of India’s population and it was striving to becoming the backbone of the country’s economic might,” Singh informed.
Meanwhile, Rajiv Kumar said UP had tough challenges in the form of urban housing and outdoor defecation free (ODF) targets.
However, he lauded UP for its progress made with regards to the labour laws, Prime Minister Awas Yojana and appointment of Ayush doctors.
“NITI Ayog is working as a partner with states and is not driving a central structure like the erstwhile Planning Commission. That is the reason why I have been visiting different states and meeting their chief ministers to know their needs,” Kumar added.
He further informed that Niti Ayog would be holding workshops to be conducted by experts for the state level working groups for mentoring them on the best practices and giving them contemporary exposure.