PM rubbishes allegations on Fin Commission ToR

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Governor Banwarilal Purohit at the inauguration of the diamond jubilee building and a series of other facilities at the Cancer Institute in Chennai on Thursday

PM rubbishes allegations on Fin Commission ToR

This comes in the wake of Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah's stern objection to the terms of reference of the 15th Finance Commission that shifted the baseline from the 1971 census to 2011 census.

Between 1971 and 2011, except Telangana, the population share of four southern states in the total declined from 22.01 per cent to 18.16 per cent. These developments are disquieting.

To forge a unified stand against what they see as a lopsided parameter, finance ministers from Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and the Union Territory of Puducherry met this week.

Allaying the apprehensions of southern states on the terms of reference (ToR) of the 15th Finance Commission, he said the Centre has suggested to the Finance Commission to consider incentivising states, which have worked on population control. Their contention has been that their state earns more tax revenue for the Centre than it gets in return.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister, who had earlier inaugurated the defence expo in the outskirts of the city, did not speak about the Cauvery issue, despite the protests raging across the state for the past week against the Centre's failure to form the Cauvery Management Board.

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The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking its intervention in the case. The CBI took over the case from the state police on Thursday.

Isaac confirmed to Mirror that the PM's announcement would only help Tamil Nadu and not the other southern states. The TN government has chose to make a representation to the 15th Finance Commission, seeking amendment of these ToR affecting devolution of funds to the State.

"Lastly, let me turn for a while, to an issue that has been raised by certain vested interests over the last few days". They said that it would benefit states that took population control measures seriously. Let me tell you something that our critics seem to have missed.

Taking to Twitter, the PMO handle tweeted, "The Union Government has suggested to the Finance Commission to consider incentivizing States who have worked on population control".

Modi said by this yardstick a state like Tamilnadu which devoted a lot of efforts, energy and resources for population control would certainly benefit. Yet, 14th FC rightly used the 2011 census population data to capture the demographic changes since 1971 to make realistic assessment of the needs of the states. "Therefore, the loss that the states which were able to control population suffered can't be offset through an incentive system".

Referring to the conclave of finance ministers of southern states, Jaitley said a needless controversy was being sought to be created that the ToR was loaded against any particular region of the country.

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