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NITI Aayog discusses 17 flagship schemes with central ministries

NITI Aayog deliberated with key central ministries on the 17 flagship schemes of the government besides taking their views on other over two dozen centrally sponsored schemes where the funding is to be shared between Centre and states.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Apr 16, 2015, 07.17 PM IST
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NITI Aayog deliberated with key central ministries on the 17 flagship schemes of the government besides taking their views on other over two dozen centrally sponsored schemes where the funding is to be shared between Centre and states
NITI Aayog deliberated with key central ministries on the 17 flagship schemes of the government besides taking their views on other over two dozen centrally sponsored schemes where the funding is to be shared between Centre and states
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NEW DELHI: NITI Aayog on Thursday deliberated with key central ministries on the 17 flagship schemes of the government besides taking their views on other over two dozen centrally sponsored schemes where the funding is to be shared between Centre and states.

The meeting was part of the working group set up by the sub-group formed for rationalisation of the centrally sponsored schemes following the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission to devolve 42% of the Centre's funds to states.

There are 72 centrally sponsored schemes, six more than the 66 funded by the UPA government, under the BJP-led NDA government. While some schemes like the rural employment guarantee scheme MGNREGA or the rural road scheme PMGSY is 100% funded by the government, others like the rural housing scheme IAY are shared in between Centre and states in different proportion, depending on the state. The funding pattern varies from 50% to up to 90% between Centre and states depending upon the scheme and the geographic location of the state.

"The working group has taken the views of all the ministries and will now come out with a draft paper that will be discussed with all chief ministers' who are part of the sub-group on April 27. Thereafter we would have one more meeting before we finalise our recommendations on the rationalisation of the CSS," Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who is heading the sub-group, said after the meeting of the working group.

According to Chouhan, the sub-group will look into the existing funding pattern between the Centre and the states, assess the flexibilities needed by states and the quantum of flexi funds available with the states to improve the utility of these schemes.

The recommendations of the sub-group formed under NITI Aayog will be significant as it will provide detailed inputs on all scheme, keeping in mind the views and needs of the states. Until then, finance ministry has gone ahead to bring down the funding pattern of 18 schemes to reduce Centre's share to 50%.

In the Union Budget 2015-16, government has delinked eight CSS from the Centre’s support, changed the fund sharing pattern between the Centre and the states on 24 schemes while continue to fund 31 schemes out of the earlier 66, targeted at poverty alleviation.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley had in his budget speech last month announced the government’s intent to rationalise the CSS in line with the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission. In the budget for 2015-16, the government has enhanced capital expenditure on social sector schemes by 25.5% to Rs 2,41,431 crore from Rs 1,92,378 crore in the revised estimates for 2014-15.

The government had originally identified more than 30 CSS which ought to have been transferred to the states because expenditure on them has already been taken into account as state expenditure, in arriving at the greater devolution of 42% of the divisible pool to the states compared to 32% under current norms.

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