Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said the Indian economy grew at a healthy 7.7 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2017-18 and the challenge now is to turn this to “double digits”.
“The challenge now is to take this growth rate to double digits, for which many more important steps have to be taken. The vision of a New India by 2022 is now a resolve of the people of our country,” Modi told the fourth meeting of the NITI Aayog Governing Council.
A broad range of issues will be discussed at the meeting including measures taken to double farmers’ income, development of aspirational districts, progress of flagship schemes like Ayushman Bharat, National Nutrition Mission, Mission Indradhanush and the celebration of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
The Governing Council is the premier body tasked with evolving a shared vision of national development priorities, sectors and strategies with the active involvement of states in shaping the development narrative.
It reviews the work done during the previous year and deliberates upon the future developmental priorities.
The Prime Minister welcomed Chief Ministers and other delegates saying the governing council was a platform that can bring about “historic change”. The Chief Ministers of Delhi, Odisha, Goa, Manipur, Mizoram, Sikkim and Tripura were not present.
He assured that the Centre would provide all the required assistance to flood-hit states.
Modi praised the Chief Ministers for playing a key role in policy formulation, through sub-groups and committees on issues such as Swachh Bharat Mission, Digital Transactions and Skill Development.
Modi announced that 1.5 lakh Health and Wellness Centres are being constructed under the Ayushman Bharat scheme and about 10 crore families will be provided health assurance worth Rs 5 lakh every year.
He added that a comprehensive approach was being adopted for education under the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan.
He said all aspects and parameters of human development needed to be addressed and improved.
“The Gram Swaraj Abhiyan has emerged as a new model for implementation of schemes and this has so far been extended to 45,000 villages.”
The target was universal coverage in seven important welfare schemes: Ujjwala, Saubhagya, Ujala, Jan Dhan, Jeevan Jyoti Yojana, Suraksha Bima Yojana and Mission Indradhanush, Modi said.
“India has no shortage of capabilities, capacities and resources and in the current financial year states are receiving over Rs 11 lakh crore from the Centre, which represents an increase of about Rs 6 lakh crore, from the last year of the previous government,” Modi said.
This gathering represented the “hopes and aspirations of the people of India” and it was also the responsibility of this gathering to make all efforts to fulfil them, he added.