Mumbai: State governments are willing to go beyond political affiliations and learn best practices from each other to improve their performance, chief ministers said on Monday at the India Economic Summit organized by the World Economic Forum in Mumbai.
Madhya Pradesh has sent teams of officers to Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Gujarat to study various schemes and projects, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said.
Chief ministers from across the country debate how they can improve governance and what they can learn from each other
While Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat are ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Bihar is ruled by an alliance of the BJP and the Janata Dal (United), and Andhra Pradesh by the Congress party.
“I am writing and sharing our successful schemes, including public service guarantee schemes,” Chouhan said.
Idea exchange: Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan (left) and Christy Clark, premier of British Columbia in Canada
Oommen Chandy, the Congress chief minister of Kerala, said he, too, was in talks with other states to adopt their best practices.
“Immediately after I took over, we sent health officers to Andhra Pradesh to study health insurance schemes of that state in order to implement a larger project in Kerala,” he said.
Chandy said his team is also in talks with the government of Tamil Nadu to build an industrial corridor between the cities of Kochi (Kerala) and Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu), on the lines of the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor. An alliance led by the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam defeated the incumbent Congress-Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam coalition in elections this year in Tamil Nadu.
Another Congress chief minister, Prithviraj Chavan of Maharashtra, said his state was willing to adopt successful development models from elsewhere.
“We are sharing success stories, as well as where we failed. Maharashtra has inspired the (rural) employment guarantee scheme and the right to information Act” adopted by the Centre, Chavan said. “We are completely open to learn best practices of even BJP-ruled states.”
The chief minister admitted his state has lost some industrial projects to neighbouring Gujarat. “Competition is good among states,” he added. “We have sent our officers to Gujarat to study water conservation measures.”
Chandy proposed to institutionalize the exchange of ideas among states by setting up a think tank.
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“We have already decided to prepare a detailed plan, Vision 2030,” he said. “We are taking suggestions from various walks of life, including state governments, non-governmental organizations and others. We have already got some 2,000 proposals about new ideas and innovations.”
Chavan said Maharashtra’s district collectors have also taken initiatives to set up a think tank to share success stories.
Christy Clark, premier of British Columbia in Canada, said the distribution of power was more decentralized in her country. “Creating a think tank at the national level is a great idea, but difficult to implement,” Clark said. “But states can cooperate and compete.”