NITI Aayog was set up as an Institution with the mandate of cooperative federalism with a premise that strong states make a strong nation. A number of measures have already been put in place to work closely with states. In the last year alone more than 30 meetings have been held with the Chief Ministers of States by the Vice Chairman/ Members of NITI Aayog. These meetings have resolved a number of issues pertaining to the states with various Central Ministries and paved way for greater collaboration between NITI Aayog and States. A delegation led by Vice Chairman NITI Aayog met the Telangana Chief Minister in Hyderabad on 21st January 2021 to discuss development issues pertaining to the State. More recently, despite requests made by NITI Aayog for a meeting, the Chief Minister did not respond.
Government of India through all the Ministries as well as office of Prime Minister, been interacting with States/ UTs on all issues of national importance. Specifically, in preparation for the August 7, 2022 Governing Council meeting, detailed consultations between Centre and States, including Telangana, were held resulting in the first National Chief Secretaries Conference held in Dharamshala in June 2022. The Conference was a culmination of a six- month long deliberations wherein all States/ UTs including Chief Secretary of Telangana participated. The allegation of Hon’ble CM Telangana that states were not co-opted in preparation of agenda is incorrect.
With reference to in the Water sector, over the last 4 years, Government of India allocated Rs.3982 core under the Jal Jeevan Mission for the State of Telangana. However, the state chose to draw only Rs. 200 crore. In addition, Rs 1195 crores were released to Telangana under PMKSY-AIBP-CADWM during 2014-2015 to 2021-2022.
Government of India has been consistently supporting states in financial matters including for flagship schemes/ programmes of national importance. Overall allocation under Centrally Sponsored Schemes have increased from Rs. 2,03,740 crores in 2015-16 to Rs. 4,42,781 crores in 2022-23, i.e. more than double during this period, in addition to the substantial hike in awards under the Fourteenth Finance Commission from 32% to 42%. Enough flexibility has also been built in for utilization of funds allocated under CSS.
It is unfortunate that the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Telangana has chosen not to participate in the Governing Council meeting of NITI Aayog to be held on 7th August. The Governing Council is a forum where the highest political leadership in the country at Centre and State levels deliberate on key development-related issues and agree on appropriate outcome oriented solutions for national development.