NITI Aayog has offered support for implementation of Kerala government’s ambitious ‘Nava Kerala Mission’ which focusses on education, health, agriculture and housing. The support was offered during a meeting between NITI Aayog officials and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan here today, a CMO statement said. NITI Aayog member Dr V K Saraswat, director Neeraj Singhal and advisor in charge of Kerala, Dr Yogeswary, besides state Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac and various department secretaries attended the meeting. The Chief Minister requested to get more Central assistance for various projects under the Nava Kerala Mission and the other initiatives of the state, including the development of national waterways.
The Centre should be more large-hearted in allocating funds considering the significance of the programmes under the Mission, ranging from cleansing and rejuvenation of water bodies to the construction of houses for all, he said. He also informed the NITI Aayog officials that the state was yet to get Rs 700 crore due from the Centre in terms of National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme. Vijayan pointed out the need to set up an industrial corridor connecting Kochi and Coimbatore under the union government’s project in this regard.
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The Centre’s assistance was also sought in various projects, including for setting up a Petrochemical Complex in Kochi, International Ayurveda Institute in Kannur, Electronic Hardware Parks and so on, it said. The union government’s support was also needed to address the malnutrition suffered by state children, Vijayan added. Dr Saraswat said the state’s demand for more central assistance in terms of Nava Kerala Mission and to develop national waterways would be considered favourably and he would discuss it with the Centre.
He also said Chief Minister’s request to make necessary changes in the Centre’s Atal Innovation Mission programme would also be considered. Chief Secretary Nalini Netto and Additional Chief Secretary (Planning) V Senthil detailed the state’s demands and requirements related to various projects, the release added.