Niti Aayog to mediate between Centre and states?

New Delhi, Jan 29 (IANS) The Niti Aayog may start mediating between the union ministries and state governments in future by bringing the both sides to the table and resolve issues regarding various developmental projects.

As a part of its mandate to promote cooperative federalism, the apex policy forming panel recently played the moderator between the newly-formed state of Telangana and various central ministries.

The Aayog on Thursday organised a meeting between senior officials from Telangana and six central ministries to resolve a number of outstanding issues of the state vis-à-vis the ministries. The two-hour meeting was chaired by Niti Aayog vice chairman Arvind Panagariya, officials said.

It experimented with a new approach to the resolution of issues between states and central ministries by bringing the two sides face-to-face, and the Aayog vice chairman actively nudging them towards a possible solution.

According to officials, about 20 important issues flagged by the state government relating to ministries of coal and power, petroleum and natural gas; environment, forests and climate change; culture, finance and rural development were discussed.

The meeting successfully resolved most of the issues to the satisfaction of both sides, according to an official statement.

“Substantial progress was made even on issues that could not be brought to full resolution during the meeting. T. Ramachandru, special representative, and Pradeep Chandra, special chief secretary, finance, Telangana, expressed satisfaction at the outcome of the meeting. They were appreciative of the initiative by the Niti Aayog,” the statement said.

“Based on the success of this experience, the Aayog stands ready to work with other interested states to help expedite their projects and programmes. In future meetings, it also intends to take up implementation or other issues the central ministries face in the states and require action by the latter,” it said.

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