Fact Box: Three Year Action Agenda of NITI Aayog
It proposes linking central government expenditure to future priorities, shifting additional allocations to high-priority sectors which are more likely to promote development.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on 24 August 2017 launched NITI Aayog's Three Year Action Agenda 2017-18 to 2019-20.
The Action Agenda is an integral part of the 15-year Vision Document of India being drafted by the NITI Aayog.
• It proposes linking central government expenditure to future priorities, shifting additional allocations to high-priority sectors which are more likely to promote development.
• It suggests ways to facilitate urbanisation in the country and deal with key challenges like affordable housing, infrastructure development, public transport and Swachh Bharat.
• It suggests host of actions to eliminate corruption and black money, and increase tax base besides recommending reforms in civil services and electoral process.
• On the social sector, it talked of changes in segments like education, skill development, health and issues facing specific groups, such as scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and women.
• It also calls for strengthening and streamlining regulatory structure governing sustainability of environment.
• It talks about crucial macroeconomic policy recommendations pertaining to tax policy, fiscal deficit, farmer income, gold and the problem of banks' Non-Performing Assets.
• It calls for reducing import duty on gold as it will help reduce the volume of the yellow metal smuggled into the country.
• The share of non-developmental revenue expenditure in total expenditure is expected to decline from 47 per cent in 2015-16 to 41 per cent in 2019-20.
• On direct taxes, the nominal tax exemption threshold should remain unchanged to include greater proportion of individuals in the tax net over time.
• Government should attempt to arrest tax evasion when non-agriculture income is declared as agriculture income.
• It recognises underemployment as a serious problem for India.
• Noting that air pollution has reached the crisis level in Northern India, Niti Aayog has recommended a slew of measures like imposing higher taxes on petrol to curb it.
• It also suggested making public transportation faster and more comfortable to discourage the use of private vehicles.
• It identified coal power plants, brick kilns, vehicles, cooking and heating fires which burn biomass, rubbish burning and burning of crop residue as the major sources of air pollution.
• It calls for measures like conversion of vehicles from petrol and diesel to CNG, a shift to electric vehicles, higher parking fees with park and ride facilities and enforcing traffic laws.
• It also recommends actions like finding alternatives to crop residue burning, reducing pollution from cooking fires and installing flu gas de-sulpherizers on all coal power plants.