KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Friday announced that she will not attend the upcoming meeting of government's policy think tank NITI Aayog since it has no power to support states.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, she says, “NITI Aayog was formed with no financial powers. It lacks the power of supporting the annual plan of states as there no financial powers with Niti Aayog.”
“It is fruitless to attend the meeting,” she added.
NITI Aayog Governing Council's first meet, after the Modi government's return to power, will be held on June 15.
When the NITI Aayog was formed, chief ministers of all the states were not consulted, she writes in the letter. “I had written to you regarding the dissolution of planning commission as it had played significant role in working with the states,” the letter states.
The NITI Aayog was formed via a resolution of the Union Cabinet on January 1, 2015, by the Modi government after scrapping the Planning Commission, which was instituted in 1950.
PM Modi Thursday approved the reconstitution of policy think tank NITI Aayog and reappointed Rajiv Kumar as its vice-chairman. Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Raj Nath Singh, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar have been appointed as its ex-officio members.
The Prime Minister will continue to be the Chairperson of the think tank. Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, Social Justice Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot, Commerce and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, and Statistics Minister Rao Inderjit Singh will be special invitees to the panel. VK Saraswat, Professor Ramesh Chand and Dr VK Paul will continue to be NITI Ayog's full-time members.