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AP needs no hand-holding, says NITI Ayog top official

Vijayawada: NITI Aayog vice-chairman Dr Rajiv Kumar said Andhra Pradesh did not need hand-holding when Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu sought the Centre’s support to take it forward.

At the conference of collectors, Mr Kumar said half of Hyderabad’s revenue was being generated by Andhraites, and if half of them migrated back, the state would need little hand-holding. Instead, AP should lead the initiative to address malnutrition, he said and wanted it to be the role model for the country.

Earlier, Mr Naidu urged Mr Kumar to extend cooperation to the state, keeping in view the hurdles it had been facing for the last three and a half years.

Mr Kumar asked the Chief Minister to encourage electronic and digital banking services in rural areas to improve the economy.

He said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi the country was beginning transformation.

A country free of poverty, corruption, communalism and terrorism should be developed.

He stressed the need for generating more employment opportunities and said priority should be given to farmers and social uplift.

Mr Kumar felt the country’s security would have been jeopardised if it had not gone in for demonetisation. He suggested a shift from startups to scaleups and said that without addressing malnutrition issues, `knowledge economy can’t be defined’ and wanted AP to take the lead.

Later, he interacted with IAS officers. Principal Secretary Jawahar Reddy brought to his notices issues of social sectors and said budgetary allocation had come down for the areas like health and education. Chief Secretary Dinesh Kumar urged the Vice-Chairman to pay special attention to tribal area development.

Energy Conservation Mission CEO Chandrasekhar Reddy also urged Rajiv to increase incentives to AP as it had been performing extremely well in energy efficiency.

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