As the newly formed Congress government in Karnataka gets ready to implement five poll promises, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday cautioned states about fiscal prudence as future generations may have to face the cosequence.

The prime minister was addressing the 8th Governing Council Meeting of NITI Aayog which was attended by 19 States and six Union Territories. “PM gave an overarching view. He did not discuss a particular item but he hinted it. Basically, he said fiscal prudence is essential because you do not want to overburden future generation. Keep that in mind whatever you do, whenever we plan and announce things,” CEO of NITI Aayog BVR Subramanian giving details about deliberation during the meeting.

On May 20, the Karnataka government, in its first cabinet meeting approved the ‘five guarantees’ it had promised to voters in its election manifesto. These include 200 units of free electricity to all households, ₹2,000 monthly assistance to the woman head of every family, 10 kg free rice to families living below the poverty line, free bus travel for women and ₹3,000 to those unemployed for up to two years after graduation and ₹1,500 for unemployed diploma holders. All these are expected to cost ₹50,000 crore to the State. 

Earlier, in States such as Himachal Pradesh and Punjab, the new governments announced fulfilling the poll announcements such as switching to old pension scheme and free power thus adding cost to States exchequers.

Budget Exercise

Meanwhile, Modi also advised States to sync their Budget planning with Centre which has advanced the Budget preparations by a month. “You (States) know what you are going to get from Delhi under various schemes and programmes, please utilise that. Get cracking in the first three months of the fiscal in terms of allocation and expenditure,” Subramanian said while quoting the Prime Minister.

Modi stressed that the Centre, States and UTs should work as Team India and fulfil the dreams and aspirations of people for a Vikasit Bharat @ 2047. He said that NITI Aayog can play a critical role in helping States to develop their strategies for the next 25 years and align the same with the National Development Agenda. He urged the States and UTs to work with NITI Aayog so that the country can take a quantum leap towards achieving its vision for the Amrit Kaal.

He urged the States to proactively use the Gati Shakti Portal not only for infrastructure and logistics but also for local area development and creation of social infrastructure. Speaking about G20 meetings being held in the country, he said that it has provided States the opportunity for global exposure.

Subramanian also informed that State Support Mission is being implemented which aims to set up NITI type institutions in all 28 States and eight Union Territories.