Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal ‘underscored’ the opportunities unleashed by cooperative and competitive federalism for growth of states in the country. While taking part at the India Economic Summit 2018 at Mumbai, Sonowal spoke on the topic “States as New Engines of Growth” and stressed on the new impetus given by the present dispensation of the centre for development of the states. The two-day Summit started on Friday was organized by India Foundation in collaboration with Bombay Stock Exchange.
Sonowal in his speech said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed northeast as astalakshmi of the country and introduced the eight states as the new engine of India’s growth, which gave development a new dimension in the region. He said that the state government taking inspiration from the Prime Minister adopts zero tolerance against corruption to create favourable environment for.
“The states are India’s new engine of growth but this does not mean the centre has no role. The new engines will be able to deliver growth only with the support and encouragement of the central government. The central government has an important role in guiding the states in terms of policy, engagement with rest of the world and execution of big infrastructure projects pertaining to railways, national highways and telecom networks among others,” the CM observed.
Further appreciating the role played by PM Narendra Modi for giving a new dimension to cooperative and competitive federalism in the country, Sonowal said that this phenomenon encourages cooperation between centre and states as well as promotes healthy competition among states to attract investment and develop innovation. He also said that a huge and diverse country like India cannot grow by one set of policy and programmes laid by the central government and as a result of which liberalization of the economy took place in the 90s. Sonowal also viewed that economic liberalization empowered not only individual entrepreneurs and companies, but also liberalized and empowered state governments and local governments.
“When the individual entrepreneurs and companies are free to make their investment decisions, the state governments also become free to attract investment to their state. This encourages the state governments to put their house in order, improve policies and infrastructure to attract investment,” Sonowal said making a reference to the gains made by Gujarat government by the ‘Vibrant Gujarat’ summit over the years.