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Ibobi attends NITI Aayog meet

By Sobhapati Samom

IMPHAL, Feb 8 � Manipur Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh attended the first meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog at Prime Minister�s residence in New Delhi today.

Stating that the twin challenges of poverty and unemployment continued to be a challenge and regional disparities persist even today, Ibobi hoped that the new restructured body would seek to resolve these core problems and further strengthen the spirit of cooperative federalism that our Constitution embodies.

He pointed out, �Our aspirations have soared and today we seek elimination, rather than alleviation of poverty, governance in achieving desirable social outcomes�.

He also endorsed the setting up of the Regional Council of CMs for North Eastern/Eastern States with representation of all States in the region and with PM as the chairman.

He urged for transfer of all schemes along with funds to States through a process where there were no distinctions in terms of plan, non-plan or Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) and the expenditure was monitored only in terms of outcome based criteria in the subsequent financial year rather than accounting/utilisation based criteria related to release of funds.

�We would like to be re-assured that even in the absence of Planning Commission, SPA/SCA funds which were available for maintaining the financial stability and equilibrium of the NE States would not only remain protected but would be provided substantive annual incremental increases�, he said.

The interaction was coordinated by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, and the opening remarks were made by Arvind Panagariya, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog.

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