Narendra Modi assures States on sharing of funds

Finance Commission to consider offering sops to States that have better population control

Following criticism from southern States that they were being discriminated against for performing well on development parameters, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the Centre had suggested to the 15th Finance Commission to consider incentivising States that have worked on population control.

“A baseless allegation is being made about the Terms of Reference of the 15th Finance Commission being biased against certain States, or a particular region. Let me tell you something that our critics seem to have missed. The Union government has suggested to the Finance Commission to consider incentivising States who have worked on population control,” Mr. Modi said at a function at the Adyar Cancer Institute in the city on Thursday.

“By this yardstick, a State like Tamil Nadu, which has devoted a lot of effort, energy and resources towards population control, would certainly benefit. This was not the case earlier,” he contended.

Southern unease

Acting president of the DMK M.K. Stalin had written to Chief Ministers of all non-BJP, non-Congress ruled States alleging that the 15th Finance Commission was seeking to allocate the States’ share of Central taxes based on the 2011 census, which would amount to punishing States that had effectively implemented the family planning programmes. On Tuesday, Kerala hosted a meeting of Finance Ministers from the southern States to discuss the issue.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami has also expressed concerns and sought amendments to the Terms of Reference in a letter to the Prime Minister, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Chairman of the Commission N.K. Singh, a government release said.

Mr. Modi said, “The Union government is committed to cooperative federalism. Our mantra is Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas [together with all, development for all].”

Mr. Modi also listed the various healthcare initiatives undertaken by the Union government, including plans to set up 20 State cancer institutes and 50 Tertiary Care Cancer Centres. Proposals can be approved, for eligible institutions, up to ₹45 crore for setting up of Tertiary Care Cancer Centre and up to ₹120 crore for setting up of State Cancer Institute, he said.

Slams laxity

Earlier in the day, speaking at the inauguration of the Defence Expo 2018 at Thiruvidanthai on the outskirts of the city, Mr. Modi criticised previous governments for being lax in procurement of defence equipment. Such “laziness” had caused damage to the nation, he said.

“There was a time when, like many other aspects of governance, the critical issue of defence preparedness was also hampered by policy paralysis. We have seen the damage such laziness, incompetence or perhaps some hidden motives, can cause to the nation,” Mr. Modi said.

 

Source :- The Hindu

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