State governments to provide “fresh ideas” to Finance Commission: Modi

Vastavam web: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today asked state governments to provide “fresh ideas” to the 15th Finance Commission for incentivising outcome-based allocations even as some southern states have expressed concerns about its Terms of Reference (ToR). He made the suggestion at the fourth meeting of the Niti Aayog’s Governing Council attended by 23 chief ministers and one Lt Governor, besides several union ministers.

“He (Prime Minister) encouraged states to give fresh ideas to the Finance Commission, for incentivising outcome-based allocations, and expenditure correction,” said a release of the Prime Minister’s Office.Raising the issue at the meet, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said the reference in the Finance Commission to adopt 2011 census population instead of 1971 data would have far reaching adverse consequences for the democratic and federal setup of the country. He expressed apprehension that it would penalise the performing states which have successfully controlled the population.

Later, briefing reporters on the meeting, Niti Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar said Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan was of the view that children already born should not be denied their rights, and the Prime Minister endorsed the opinion. Last month, the Commission set up an expert committee to advise it on matters related to the ToR that have come under attack from some non-BJP ruled states.

In April, Kerala had hosted a conference of finance ministers of various states to discuss issues of common concern with respect to the commission. Responding to the concerns, the Centre had said on April 10 that there is no inherent bias or mandate in the ToR which could be construed as discriminatory against the states which have made good progress in population control. Meanwhile, Kumar said a committee under chairmanship of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister has been set up to dovetail agriculture with employment guarantee scheme MNREGA.