Odisha, West Bengal to boycott Niti Aayog conference today


New Delhi: Odisha and West Bengal will boycott the Conference on Transformation of Aspirational Districts organised by NITI Aayog here on January 5.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the conference where he will interact with officials in-charge of transformation of over 100 districts, which are lagging on specific development parameters. The conference will discuss plans and budgets for development of the Most Backward Districts (MBDs) of the states.

“This event is in keeping with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of a New India by 2022. The Union government has embarked upon a major policy initiative for the rapid transformation of districts that are lagging on specific development parameters,” said a government release.

Officials in the rank of Additional Secretary and Joint Secretary have been made officers’ in-charge, to coordinate the efforts of the Centre and states in addressing the specific developmental needs of these districts.

West Bengal and Odisha will give the event a miss as they are unhappy over the appointment of monitoring officials by the Centre, which was done without any consultation of the respective state governments.

In Odisha, the NITI Aayog has identified Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Rayagada, Gajapati, Malkangiri, Koraput, Balangir and Dhenkanal as backward districts without consulting the state government.

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