New Delhi | The first meeting of NITI Aayog’s sub-group on Centrally Sponsored Schemes, scheduled for March 27, is likely to be pushed to next month as some Chief Ministers have expressed inability to attend it. The meeting of the sub-group, comprising 11 chief ministers was called to deliberate on further rationalisation of the CSS to make them more effective.
The meeting is being postponed as several Chief Ministers have indicated it would not be possible for them to attend it in view of the ongoing Budget sessions of their Assemblies. Some chief ministers have shown their inability to attend the meeting in view of ongoing budget session (in their assemblies) like Uttar Pradesh and Telangana.
I will speak to them tonight on this. If need be, we will change the date of the meeting, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the convener of the panel, told reporters here. He further said, some friends (Chief Ministers) have said that Aashtami is falling on March 27 and requested for another date in April. Chouhan was in the capital to attend the preparatory meeting of the sub-group scheduled on March 27.
Finance Ministry’s expenditure department made a presentation on CSS funding and issues in view of government’s recent decision to raise states’ share in taxes to 42 per cent from existing 32 per cent. On scope of work of the panel, Chouhan said: Primarily, the sub-group would deliberate on rationalisation of the CSS. How can we improve productivity of the schemes? The group will also deliberate on centre and states’ share in CSS.
He pointed out that under the new devolution of funds arrangement, the states’ share has increased from 32 per cent to 42 per cent. It is obvious that the centre would be left which lesser resources. The sub-group will submit its report to the Governing Council of NITI Aayog, which is headed by the Prime Minister and its members include all chief ministers.
The sub-group on CSS has Chief Ministers of eleven states including Rajasthan, Nagaland, Manipur, Kerala, Jammu & Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh. As per the government’s fiscal policy strategy statement, over 30 CSS have been identified for transfer to the states because expenditure on them has already been taken into account as state expenditure.
There are certain CSS such as MGNREGA which can neither be discontinued nor transferred as there is legal obligations. It is proposed that only 8 CSS be delinked from support from the Centre.
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