GUWAHATI, Jan 3 � Voicing apprehension that replacing the Planning Commission with the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog would hinder flow of funds to the states, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today said that the Centre did not take into account the views of the Chief Ministers of the states while endorsing the change.
He added that far from facilitating cooperative federalism as projected by the Centre, the new body would function as a highly centralised operation.
Gogoi, who was addressing a press conference, even termed it a �political gimmick� and said that the new arrangements would vest the finances entirely in the Union Finance Minister and that was bound to affect fund allotment to the States.
�Does it mean that the Planning Commission failed to transform India all these years? India�s GDP which was Rs 2,79,618 crore in 1950, stands at Rs 57,41,791 crore today. The per capita income, too, has increased from Rs 7,144 to Rs 38,037. Similarly, there has been substantial progress in the spheres of literacy, foodgrain production, etc. All this could not have been possible had the Planning Commission not played a big role in the country�s development,� he said.
Gogoi also accused the new BJP Government at the Centre of providing little financial assistance to the State. �We had severe flood-induced damage last year but no Central team has done any assessment of flood damage,� he added.
The Chief Minister said several non-BJP States such as West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh had voiced strong reservations about the NITI Aayog, but the Centre chose not to give weight to the due concerns of the State.
Gogoi also criticised the new land Act of the Centre, saying that by doing away with the social impact assessment component, the Centre was giving undue favour to big industrial houses while hurting the vital interests of the poor and the common man.
�This is an anti-people stand and will hit the development process in the long run,� he said.