As India tries to improve its ranking in the ease of doing business report of the World Bank from low of 130, Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi asked states to accord priority for creating a conducive business climate, mixing the spirit of cooperative federalism with competition to attract investment. And, requested them to maximise the use of Aadhaar - the citizen identification system - in their programmes and plans. In the backdrop of farmer unrest, the PM also laid emphasis on agricultural reforms, including e-national agri-marketing initiatives. He was addressing a day-long conference of state chief secretaries on a theme of ‘States as Drivers for Transforming India’.
Madhya Pradesh’s chief secretary talked about the pitfalls of developing too fast on the agriculture front. The PM did not mention the impact of farm debt waivers on fiscal deficits. However, NITI Aayog officials stressed that states could not raise their borrowings beyond the limits set by the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act, unless the Union government agreed. The PM said: “The whole world today has trust in India, has expectations from India and wants to partner with India. This is a golden opportunity for us. Ease of doing business should be accorded top priority and would greatly help states in attracting investment.”