New Delhi, July 10 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi today asked states to accord top priority to ‘ease of doing business’, saying the country must make best use of the ‘golden opportunity’ as the world wants to partner with India.

Interacting with chief secretaries of states and union territories here, Modi underlined the need for maximum use of the 12-digit biometric identifier Aadhaar to improve governance and eliminate leakages in government schemes.

Observing that the whole world today has trust in India and wants to partner with it, he said “this is a golden opportunity for us” and the states must accord top priority to improve on “ease of doing business” to attract more investments.

Modi’s interaction was part of the National Conference of Chief Secretaries on the theme of “States as Drivers for Transforming India”. This is the first time, that the prime minister has addressed such a gathering at such an event.

The prime minister sat for over two hours during the day-long meeting organised by the Niti Aayog.

He further said the use of Aadhaar has brought benefits all around and eliminated leakages.

He also asked the states to maximise the use of government’s e-Marketplace (GeM) by August 15, saying it would provide efficiency, savings and transparency in government procurement.

The prime minister further said that good governance is the key to success for government programmes and development goals.

He said “relatively junior officers” in states must spend adequate time in field visits, so that they are aware first- hand about issues on the ground.

Besides chief secretaries, the meeting was attended by Union Minister of State for Planning Rao Inderjit Singh, Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya and Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.