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4th meeting of NITI Aayog concludes

Delivering his closing remarks, at the fourth meeting of the NITI Aayog Governing Council, the Prime Minister asked the Aayog to follow up with the States on the actionable points made by them within three months.

He said that on the lines of the 115 aspirational districts identified by NITI Aayog, States can define their own parameters to identify 20 percent of the total blocks in the State as aspirational blocks.

He reiterated the Union Government’s commitment to provide universal coverage of seven key schemes to 45,000 additional villages in 115 Aspirational Districts, by August 15th, 2018.

Elaborating on the Union Government’s guiding principle of Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas, the Prime Minister said the schemes of the Union Government are no longer limited to certain people, or to certain regions, and are reaching everyone without discrimination, in a balanced way.

The Prime Minister said that all villages of the country are now electrified, and under Saubhagya Yojana, 4 crore houses are now being provided with electricity connections.

He said rural sanitation coverage has increased from less than 40 percent to about 85 percent in four years.

He said that after the implementation of the Jan Dhan Yojana, the entire population of the country will be connected to the banking system.

Similarly, he said the Ujjwala Yojana is providing access to cooking gas, and Mission Indradhanush is working towards universal immunization. He said the Union Government is working towards providing housing for all by 2022.

He called upon all Chief Ministers to contribute their efforts towards this objective of 100 percent implementation of schemes for the welfare of the poor.

The Prime Minister said that the implementation of these welfare schemes is also bringing about a behavioral change in lives of people.

The Prime Minister said that Swachh Bharat Mission is being discussed around the world. He called upon all present, to work towards 100 percent sanitation coverage by October 2, 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

Speaking on the economy, the Prime Minister said that the world expects India to become a five trillion dollar economy soon. He encouraged States to give fresh ideas to the Finance Commission, for incentivizing outcome-based allocations, and expenditure correction.

The Prime Minister called for widespread debate and consultations on simultaneous elections for Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabhas, keeping in view various aspects such as the resulting financial savings and consequent better utilisation of resources.

Earlier, in the day, the Prime Minister said that the Governing Council of NITI Aayog has approached complex issues of governance as “Team India” in the spirit of cooperative and competitive federalism.

Delivering his opening remarks during the fourth meeting of the council, the Prime Minister described smooth rollout and implementation of GST as a prime example of this.

The Prime Minister assured the Chief Ministers from flood-affected States that centre would provide all assistance to them, to deal with the situation.

He added that India has no shortage of capabilities, capacities and resources for achieving the dream of New India.

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