New Delhi: Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday batted for close cooperation between states and the Centre, saying without it, development projects are bound to suffer.
Addressing the meeting of Inter-State Council, Singh said the NDA government's main focus was to promote federalism--be it cooperative federalism or cooperative federalism through competitive federalism.
"We want that the Centre and states, through close and active cooperation and collaboration, formulate development- related policies and implement them.
"It is quite natural to have an adverse impact on execution of development projects if there are differences of opinion between the states as well as between the state and the Centre," he said in the meeting attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, chief ministers of states, Lieutenant Governor of UTs and several Union ministers.
The Home Minister said the Modi government strongly believes that in the development of the country, both the central and state governments have a significant role.
"Because of this reason, the central government has enhanced fund allocations to the states to a great extent as per the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission," he said.
Singh said the creation of NITI Aayog, after disbanding Planning Commission, was part of the strengthening process of cooperative federalism.
He said with the creation of NITI Aayog, the inherent deficiencies of the erstwhile Planning Commission's 'one size fits all' policy has been filled.
"Now every state can formulate and implement schemes as per their respective needs," he said.
The Home Minister said the Council meeting was being held after a gap of 10 years and it was the reflection of the central government's underlying theme of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikash'.
Singh said the Inter-State Council was set up in 1990 as per the Sarkaria Commission report through a Presidential order. But in last 25 years, the Inter-State Council met just 10 times and and this meeting was being held after a gap of 10 years.
"Our government believes that the nation cannot develop without equitable development of all states. In the process of development of states, apart from the cooperation of the Centre, there should be healthy competitive atmosphere between states and they (states) should adopt best practices of each other," he said.
Favouring special initiatives for under-developed states, the Home Minister said there is a need to march along with those states which stay behind in the development process.
"Our government's effort is to help those states who are behind the developmental trajectory, help them with adequate legal procedure and taking structural reform," he said.
Singh said the central and state governments must work like 'Team India' and states and the Centre should become each other's strength.