UP Govt, NITI Aayog on fast track to transform state: Cabinet Minister Siddharth Nath

New Delhi - The Uttar Pradesh government, with the help of NITI Aayog, has drawn up an elaborate plan to transform the face of the state, with special emphasis on rejuvenating the farm sector.


The apex planning body has suggested to the state government to scrap stamp duties to encourage farmers to pool their land for attracting investment of technology providers.


Uttar Pradesh Cabinet Minister Siddharth Nath Singh said that using new agricultural technologies was crucial to the achievement of doubling the farmers income, but small land holdings in UP were coming in the way of getting the technology.


Mr Singh, who is Minister In-charge of the six member group for presenting a road map for UP's transformation, said the state government was considering the NITI Aayog proposal.


"The existing stamp duties on transfer of land in the state was very high, which was discouraging farmers to pool their land, but in the long-term interest of the farm sector, the NITI Aayog has suggested waiving off the duty, so we have to see how we can compensate the resulting revenue loss," said the Minister, who was here this week in connection with a meeting with the Union Ministry.


He said that an 18-member NITI Aayog team, led by Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya, recently visited the state and discussed with the Chief Minister, the state's road map for development, during which they presented plans in the areas of health, water, sanitation, industrialisation, ease of doing business, agriculture and sanitation.


The group of six people, who include Amitabh Kant, Prof Ramesh Chandra, besides the Chief Secretary and the Principal Secretary in addition to Secretary, Planning, have sent suggestions to the Chief Minister on the 'Road Ahead', he said.


The NITI Aayog team going to the state, instead of the state team coming to the Aayog in Delhi, was a very concrete example of the principle of cooperative federalism adopted by the BJP Government at the Centre, the UP Cabinet Minister said.


The state government is focusing on increasing irrigation capacity of the state, as part of the drive to boost the farm sector, he said.


In water-scarce Bundelkhand region, it has been decided to construct 6,000 dams under MGNREGA, and places for setting up Krishi Vigyan Kendra have been identified to bring agricultural technology to the doorstep of the farmer.


Mr. Singh also spoke about the steps being taken to improve the power situation in the state, and claimed that by 2019 when the Ardh Kumbh will be held in Allahabad, the state grid will be able to provide 100 per cent electric supply, without the use of generators.


He also said that the problem of power shortage for hospitals will be solved by installing roof top solar power generators.

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