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NITI Aayog pats Maha for Covid war, EV drive

Mumbai, Sep 14 (IANS) The NITI Aayog on Tuesday praised the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government’s handling of the Covid pandemic situation in Maharashtra and the state’s big push for electric vehicles.

A delegation led by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant and others met Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat and other top officials to discuss a 41 pending issues of the state government.

“The commission has assured that action will be taken to sort out all these issues expeditiously. The NITI Aayog’s Deputy Chairman, Rajiv Kumar, also lauded the state’s anti-Covid measures and the Electric Vehicles Policy announced recently,” said an official from the CMO.

On his part, Thackeray expressed confidence that in coordination with the NITI Aayog, the state would become numero uno in the country and urged the delegation to resolve the state’s outstanding issues on priority.

Pointing out how the state led in terms of providing healthcare during the pandemic, the CM urged the NITI Aayog to ensure that the Covid grants are fully given to the state as a possible third wave is round the corner.

Environment and Tourism Minister Aditya Thackeray gave a presentation on the EV policy which earned appreciation as a good step from Amitabh Kant for the “state’s vision for the future”.

The state government put up 41 pending issues – some contentious – before the visiting delegation for the attention of the Centre, pertaining to infrastructure, ports, irrigation, financial, housing and other sectors.

These included: Making availability of land for construction of the Mumbai Metro depot at Kanjurmarg, acquisition of 45 acres of land from the Railways for the Dharavi redevelopment project, Buld Drugs Park, expansion of the Pune, Thane, Nashik, Nagpur Metro rails, and the Pune-Nashik double-railway.

The Chief Minister pointed out that the GST refund to the state has reached Rs 30,000 crore and will soon touch Rs 50,000 crore, and though the Centre earned revenues through the increased cess on petrol and diesel, it did not benefit the state.

The Centre will provide Rs 3,000 crore for the development of the Dighi Port Industrial Area as part of the plan to set up a new city there under a SPV, said Kant.

–IANS

qn/arm

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