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Business News/ News / India/  NITI-like bodies to support states’ development goals: Suman Bery
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NITI-like bodies to support states’ development goals: Suman Bery

The prime minister wants NITI to lead, conceptualize, ideate and then hand over. He doesn't want NITI to be involved in implementation

Suman Bery, Vice Chairperson, NITI Aayog.Premium
Suman Bery, Vice Chairperson, NITI Aayog.

New Delhi: NITI Aayog is helping state governments reform their planning departments and create NITI-like institutions under the federal policy think tank’s state-support mission, vice chairman Suman K Bery said in an interview.

Bery said that as sought by some of states, NITI Aayog was providing intellectual support for the initiative.

"States are innovators, sovereign and are the size of individual countries. It cannot be a cookie-cutter approach. There was a complaint that maybe in the past, it was too much homogenisation in the eyes of the Planning Commission. We accept that each state will have its own development journey," Bery said, adding that NITI Aayog was in a position to support states intellectually in a variety of ways.

State-level NITI-like bodies are expected to help in designing policies and schemes tailored for their unique stage of development.

While supporting the Centre and states with ideas and research, NITI Aayog is clear that its role remains in the realm of help make policies and programmes, not in their implementation. Bery highlighted the government’s aspirational districts programme and the production-linked incentive scheme as two projects on which NITI Aayog has contributed in a major way.

The key insight behind the aspirational districts programme was that development even in backward areas is not only, or primarily, a matter of resources, but it is a matter of focus, he said.

"The core insight there is that you can do a lot with existing resources. Managerial efficiency is something that is extremely important for development outcomes," said Bery.

“Going back to the very beginning of Prime Minister Modi's term in office, he was concerned, and rightly so, about the weak state of manufacturing in India which led to the Make in India programme. A reflection of what was working and not working has led to the production link incentive programmes and I think it is fair to say that the PLI scheme involved in its conceptualization a lot of input by NITI Aayog although the implementation has gone to the to the line ministries," explained Bery.

The vice chairman said that the prime minister has a very clear idea about what NITI should do and what it should not do. “The prime minister wants NITI to lead, conceptualize, ideate and then hand over. He doesn't want NITI to be involved in implementation. An example of it could be Mission Life, an India led initiative to protect the environment.

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Gireesh Chandra Prasad
Gireesh has over 22 years of experience in business journalism covering diverse aspects of the economy, including finance, taxation, energy, aviation, corporate and bankruptcy laws, accounting and auditing.
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Updated: 21 Sep 2023, 10:19 PM IST
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