Shimla: Batting for the disbanded Planning Commission, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said on Friday it was far better than the newly-constituted NITI Aayog as far as the welfare of states was concerned.
"The Planning Commission used to take up the issues of the states strongly with the ministries concerned. I personally feel NITI Aayog has no clear directives for special category states like Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand," he said.
Singh was speaking to visiting journalists from Chhattisgarh in an informal interaction here.
The chief minister said besides the northeastern states, others like Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Jammu and Kashmir were also declared as special category states and used to obtain financial assistance from the Centre in 90:10 or 70:30 ratio.
After the commissioning of NITI Aayog, with the prime minister as its chairman and all chief ministers as its members, it is states like Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand who are suffering the most.
Singh said there was neither any special instruction nor any clear-cut policy of assistance for these two hill states.
I have written to the prime minister of India and have requested him to maintain the special status of both the states because of topography similar to the north-eastern states, the chief minister added.
When he was asked about the future of the Congress party, Singh said that one should not come to a conclusion if a particular party loses elections.
"The Congress party is the century-old party and has contributed immensely in building the nation," he said.
On being asked about the functioning of the NDA government, he appreciated the "Make in India" concept.
"It would give an opportunity to the entrepreneurs to invest and produce in India," he said.