‘No Member from South in Finance Commission’, K’taka Minister Raises Concern over Representation
Karnataka Rural Development Minister Krishna Byre Gowda said he had appealed to the panel that injustices be corrected and sought fair recommendations.
Bengaluru: A day after meeting with the 15th Finance Commission in Bengaluru, Karnataka Rural Development Minister Krishna Byre Gowda raised his concern that there was no representative of the southern states in the five-member panel.
“It’s unfortunate that Central Government could not find one capable person from South India to serve in the 5 member 15th Finance Commission. In past many members from the South have done illustrious service to the Nation,” he wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.
In a series of tweets he further wrote that unjust treatment was meted out to Karnataka in terms of central allocations during 2015-20 to deal with droughts and floods. He said that he had appealed to the panel chief that these injustices be corrected and sought fair recommendations.
(2/4)Injustice was done to Karnataka in Central allocations during 2015-20. For eg. to meet the needs of drought and floods, Karnataka got ₹. 1527 Cr under SDRF for the period of 2015-20, whereas Maharashtra got ₹ 8195 Cr.— Krishna Byre Gowda (@krishnabgowda) 26 June 2019
(4/4)I hope this failure of the Central Government will be overcome by the members of current Commission and do justice to the better performing states of the South. Instead of penalising, we hope they will reward performance and efficiency.— Krishna Byre Gowda (@krishnabgowda) 26 June 2019
Gowda was the Karnataka representative at the southern states’ conclave held in Thiruvananthapuram in April 2018. The conclave discussed the various concerns of the states regarding the terms of reference, especially the use of the 2011 population data by the Finance Commission as the base for disbursal of funds to states.
“Karnataka has been raising these issues since 2017. Same issues have been raised by Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and a few other states. The commission has given us a fair hearing. We are hoping it will make a fair allocation, taking into consideration the needs of progressive states. The way the Central government has gone about this process makes us apprehensive. We hope the commission will overcome the errors of the Centre and be just,” Gowda told News18.
The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) in Tamil Nadu and its chief MK Stalin had also raised similar concerns. Party spokesperson Manu Sundaram said the absence of a member from the south would “exacerbate the bias that is present against the southern states”.
“It is not entirely a coincidence that the southern states have been leading the battle against the faulty and highly prejudicial terms of reference which are present in the 15th Finance Commission, mainly the use of 2011 Census data and other such references, including reference to populous schemes. As such, the tone and tenor of the present commission goes against the fundamental principles of federalism," said Sundaram.
Finance Minister of Kerala Thomas Isaac, however, said, "I do not want to have a parochial view that the north cannot understand the south. But it is a fact that there is no representation. I would have been much happier if there was one but that is not the only concern. More important are concerns which are also shared by many other states in the country. One has to wait to see what decisions are being taken. I hope they do compensate for the losses that the southern will suffer as has been conveyed earlier,” said Isaac.
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