NITI Aayog has decided to merge its 15-year vision document with the 7-year medium-term strategy paper to come out with a comprehensive roadmap to expedite economic growth. NITI Aayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya told PTI in an interview that the government think-tank has received comments from about 10 states on the draft 3-year action agenda and will finalise it within two weeks. It had earlier planned to come out with three documents — 3-year action agenda, 7-year medium-term strategy paper and 15-year vision document.
“We are thinking of having a brief chapter regarding the vision in the 7-year strategy paper which will be a bulky document outlining the action plan for expediting growth. “The vision document will be aspirational, about the kind of country we want to build…the kind of society we want to be in. It will be a kind of vision for the future,” he said. The Aayog, he added, aims to finalise the 7-year strategy paper in the next three months.
The draft 3-year action agenda has been circulated among Chief Ministers at the third NITI Aayog’s third Governing Council meeting held on April 23. Once the agenda is finalised by the Aayog after obtaining comments of Chief Ministers, it would be referred to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is the chairman of the Aayog. The agenda paper had suggested a host of reforms in taxation, agriculture and energy sectors with the objective of accelerating growth and increasing employment opportunities.
The draft agenda also had underlined the need for recalibrating the role of the government by limiting its involvement in activities that do not serve a public purpose. Among other things, the Aayog had also suggested the closure of loss-making CPSEs and strategic disinvestment in 20 state-owned companies. The three-year agenda (2017-18 to 2019-20) called for steps to check tax evasion, expand tax base and simplify taxation system through reforms. It had suggested the government could consider consolidating existing custom duty rates to a unified rate.
The other suggestions include creation of an institutional mechanism to promote competition through comprehensive review and reform of government regulations across all sectors, besides strengthening of the public procurement system.