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Chief secretaries brief PM on best governance practices

LiveMint logoLiveMint 10-07-2017 Gireesh Chandra Prasad

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday asked the chief secretaries of states and union territories to share their best governance practices, expand the use of Aadhaar to eliminate diversion of benefits meant for the poor and improve ease of doing business.

The chief secretaries outlined the best schemes being implemented in their states in public distribution, clean energy, good governance, ease of doing business, agriculture and health, said Amitabh Kant, chief executive of the federal policy think tank Niti Aayog, which organized the meeting.

Kant told reporters that he presented a ranking of states on how they performed on various socio-economic parameters.

This is the first time that a prime minister has heard chief secretaries of all states and union territories together on the best practices implemented by their administrations, said Kant. The idea is to further the spirit of cooperative federalism.

An official statement issued after the meeting said Modi urged states to accord top priority to ease of doing business as it would help them attract investment.

Niti Aayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya told reporters that PM Modi stressed the need for outcome-based monitoring of welfare programmes rather than merely allocating resources.

Implementation of direct benefit transfer of subsidies, moving to a less cash-based economy, reforms in the agriculture sector and promoting entrepreneurship also figured in the meeting, Panagariya added.

Modi also emphasized the need for maximum use of the 12-digit biometric identifier Aadhaar to improve governance, he said.

Panagariya said migration of workers from agriculture to other sectors of the economy—services and manufacturing—was not a cause for worry as these are more productive segments.

“If we set the output per worker in agriculture equal to one, then output per worker in industry is five and that in services 3.8. In other words, even at the current productivity levels in each sector, moving one percentage point workers out of agriculture into industry can increase the GDP (gross domestic product) by 1.5 percentage points,” Panagariya said.

Modi also urged states to maximize their use of the government e-market place platform for procurement by 15 August, which he said will increase their efficiency and bring more transparency in public spending.

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