India, China state, provincial forum to advance cooperation: Modi

Beijing: Prime minister Narendra Modi today said greater cooperation between India and China at the state and provincial level would help translate the vision of enhancing bilateral cooperation into reality besides promoting greater people-to-people contacts.

Speaking at the inauguration of the first India-China Forum of State and Provincial Leaders here, Modi described the forum as “a new vehicle for advancing cooperation between our two countries”.

He said his visit would see the launch of provincial partnership between Karnataka and Sichuan and sister-city relationships between Aurangabad-Dunhuang, Chennai-Chongqing and Hyderabad-Qingdao.

“These are welcome developments. We are truly taking our relationship outside our national capitals to state capitals and cities.”

Modi said he has asked his ministries to move conferences out of Delhi to state capitals and other cities, as a part of his vision of cooperative federalism.

The prime minister said his government has moved fast to give shape to the vision of cooperative and competitive federalism, in which states compete with each other to attract investments and jobs.

“When we replaced the old Planning Commission with the institution called Niti Ayog, we gave a formal place and role for state governments in an institution of this nature for the first time in India,” Modi said.

He said his government has “radically increased the amount of resources that the Central Government must transfer to the state governments”.

“And, when we began to raise large revenues from the auction of our coal, it also filled the coffers of the states where the mines are located,” the prime minister said.

Modi said Chinese President Xi Jinping has spoken in terms of $20 billion of Chinese investments in India over the next five years during his visit to India last year.

“The president spoke of 20 billion dollars of Chinese investments over the next five years. Some of the business agreements will take shape in Shanghai tomorrow (Saturday),” he said.