A Chief Ministers’ Sub-Group of NITI Aayog, which held a meeting on Saturday, has reportedly decided to cut the number of Centrally Sponsored Schemes in the country from 72 to 30.
The sub-group was formed with the specific purpose of pruning the number of Centrally Sponsored Schemes. The meeting was attended by embattled Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje apart from her counterparts in states like Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh and Nagaland.
Raje, who came to Delhi in a helicopter on Saturday morning, is facing demands for her resignation over her alleged links with former IPL chief Lalit Modi.
“There is a broad consensus on reducing the number of CSS and having two types of schemes,” the panel’s convener and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said at a press conference after a meeting of the sub-group. The recommendations are likely to be finalised by July 5 and the consent of all members would be sought before submitting the final report to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Some more suggestions have come. I have formed a committee of NITI Aayog officials headed by its CEO. It will deliberate…prepare a final draft by July 5. After seeking all Chief Ministers’ consent on the draft, the final recommendations will be submitted to the Prime Minister,” Chouhan was quoted saying after Saturday’s meeting.
The panel has met four times, with the last meeting held on May 28 in Bhopal. Based on earlier meetings, a draft report was presented on Saturday to the members for comments, which was prepared by a committee headed by the Aayog’s CEO, Sindhushree Khullar.
The draft report suggested the segregation of Centrally Sponsored Schemes’ two broad groups — Core Schemes and Optional Schemes. The Core Schemes are likely to include legislatively-backed schemes such as MNREGA, Swachh Bharat Mission and Mid-Day Meal while the second would have Optional Schemes for themes such as social inclusion.
The sub-group was constituted by the Prime Minister in March this year following a decision in the first meeting of governing council of NITI Aayog a month earlier. Members of the Chief Ministers’ Sub-Group include Madhya Pradesh (Convener), Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Kerala, Manipur, Nagaland, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and Lt Governor of Andaman & Nicobar Islands.