Nation/ Republic and respective States should share power, without power getting concentrated at any level, says Dr. Jitendra Singh All India Radio’s Sardar Patel Memorial Lecture 2016 culminates today.
New Delhi 28.10.2016 :Reflecting Sardar Patel’s ideologies, the Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region (I/C), Prime Minister’s Office, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh, said here today that the objective is to ensure that the Nation/ Republic and the respective States should share power without power getting concentrated at any level.Delivering the prestigious Sardar Patel Memorial Annual Lecture on the subject “Cooperative Federalism: Reconciling Regional Aspirations and National Cohesion”, Dr Jitendra Singh said that he was humbled by the fact that he had been invited to deliver a commemorative annual lecture which was initiated in 1955 with the first speaker being C. Rajagopalachari, an intellectual stalwart, who was in the subsequent years followed by some of the most brilliant luminaries of their times. It is an honour to deliver a lecture dedicated to the memory of the first Home Minister of India, Sardar Patel, who is remembered as the creator of the Union of India by bringing together over 565 princely States, he added.Dwelling on the subject of cooperative federalism, Dr Jitendra Singh said, it goes to the credit of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to have realized the need to revisit the entire set up of three tier system incorporating Central, State and local Governments as well as the gambit of Centre-State relationship in order to make it capable of offering optimum benefit from the current phase of rapid economic and development growth that India was going through. He said, as the nations and societies evolve to a higher level of functioning, it is expected that they would develop a natural instinct for mutual coexistence and mutual cooperation but till the time that level of functioning is achieved, we need to have structuring and restructuring from time to time with a set of rules, guidelines and legislations in place.Soon after the present Government took over, Dr Jitendra Singh said, the three most important decisions taken by the Government in the last two years include a) setting up of NITI Aayog b) devolution of taxes to States and c) introduction of Goods & Services Tax (GST).As far as NITI Aayog is concerned, Dr Jitendra Singh said, quite contrary to the erstwhile Planning Commission, NITI Aayog encourages cooperative federalism through structure support initiatives and accommodates diverse viewpoints with a deeper engagement of different States. Its functioning is also more participatory and democratic since the NITI Governing Council includes Chief Ministers, Lieutenant Governors and Administrators, and there are further sub-groups with Chief Ministers for special focus on certain flagship programmes, he added.As for GST, Dr Jitendra Singh said, it has the potential to provide unified common national market by integrating various taxes and levies from States and Centre while the dictum of ‘One Nation, One Tax’ has wider connotations. In addition, he said, the GST Council with its mandatory requirement to take decisions with 3/4th majority ensures that all the view points are accommodated. No Government in the past, Dr Jitendra Singh noted, has shown the courage to raise the share of the States in divisible pool of taxes from 32% to 42% as per the recommendations of 14th Finance Commission and our figures indicate that as many as 26 States have recorded rise in their total quantum gain.Dr Jitendra Singh said that the present Government has brought in provisions which have reinforced confidence of all stakeholders of being equal partners in the development of nation as well as the individual States. This is truly living up to the spirit of PM Shri Modi’s clarion call “Sab Ka Sath, Sab Ka Vikas”, he added.Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting, Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said that “Enthusiasm, patriotism of the young India promises more Sardar in the coming times”All India Radio’s Sardar Patel Memorial Lecture 2016 culminated today. This lecture is a legacy which has been a continual process since 1955 and many eminent personalities have shared their thoughts based on the ideologies of the Iron Man, as Patel was fondly called and remembered. He was also the man who consolidated fragmented states of India and built one United Modern India. Sardar Patel was the first Information and Broadcasting Minister of independent India and this lecture series held every year is a tribute to the great visionary by All India Radio.DG All India Radio, Shri Fayyaz Sheheryar, Chairman Prasar Bharati Shri Surya Prakash, heads of various News Bureaus and Agencies and eminent members of journalists’ fraternity were also present on the occasion.