NEW DELHI: In a first for the government’s policy think tank, NITI Aayog, its vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya will meet the state authorities of Uttar Pradesh on May 10 to draw up a plan to aid the newly elected Yogi Adityanath government to help boost its economy and transform the face of UP.
NITI Aayog is responding to a mandate from the Prime Minister Office to put in place a plan for development of UP where the ruling combination won with thumping majority late March.
“UP is the largest state and there is a new government. We would visit the state and spend one entire day with the chief minister,” Panagariya told ET.
Uttar Pradesh has been a strategically important state since the British era. However, over the last several decades it has slipped on multiple parameters because of poor infrastructure, education, health and poor law and order. Barring Noida, the state has failed in attracting industry or creating employment opportunities for its youth.
The NITI Aayog team is expected to make presentations across sectors before the chief minister, detailing the laggard areas of the state and what needs to be done to address the problems — both in the medium and long-term. The team is expected to focus on low-hanging fruits or projects that can be completed with minimum but focussed intervention.
Asked whether similar kind of central involvement could be seen with other states, Panagariya said: “As of now, UP is one-of-a-kind. If the model/experience with UP works, we may convert our visits planned for other states into similar exercise.”
The Aayog will take inputs from state officials and take stock of pending decisions or proposals before the central ministries. The idea is to get the state on the development road map and make it an attractive destination for investments while improving social indicators.
ET had first reported that the Aayog is looking at the primary issues holding back the development in the state on war footing. The idea of such a focussed approach towards UP is to speedily resolve all inter-ministerial problems plaguing the state so that the developmental work done henceforth can be highlighted in the next general elections.