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Who Are You to Dictate to Us? Puducherry CM Asks Centre at Southern Finance Ministers Meet

Representatives from the three states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh in addition to Kerala and Puducherry got together, while Telangana and Tamil Nadu abstained.

Chandrakanth Viswanath | News18

Updated:April 10, 2018, 3:01 PM IST
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Who Are You to Dictate to Us? Puducherry CM Asks Centre at Southern Finance Ministers Meet
A meeting of finance ministers from southern states being held in Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala on April 10, 2018.
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Thiruvananthapuram: In a first of its kind exercise, the finance ministers of the southern states met in the city and came down heavily on the central government for its alleged ill-treatment of the said states.

Representatives from the three states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh in addition to Kerala and Puducherry got together, while Telangana and Tamil Nadu abstained.

Andhra was represented by finance minister Eramala Ramakrishnudu while Karnataka by its agriculture minister Krishna Byre Gowda and Puducherry by Chief Minister V Narayansamy, who is also the finance minister.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who inaugurated the meet, demanded revision in the terms of reference by the 15th Finance Commission as it questions the fiscal federalism and principles of democratic governance.

"There is a conspicuous bias inbuilt in the terms of reference. That would prevent the Finance Commission to fulfil the constitutional responsibility. Penalising the performing states cannot be justified. There is a blatant interventionism in the fiscal rights of the states. This might end up in changing the Finance Commission from constituent authority to administrative mechanism," he said.

In a fiery address, Puducherry Chief Minister said there is a grave injustice to the best performing states.

“The best performing states are penalised while the worst performing are being rewarded. The PM always says about cooperative federalism but it is actually a dictatorship. The states are suffering as the Centre is taking away the power of the states. Who are you to dictate us? We know the pulse of the people. We are designing the populist schemes by knowing the pulse of the people,”said Narayansamy.

"We have a wonderful governor in Kiran Bedi. She blocks all the files that I give. I am fighting with her every day," added Puducherry Chief Minister.

Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Issac and Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala are also attending the meet.

South Indian Concerns

The 15th Finance Commission, constituted in November 2017, recognises population as an important criterion for distribution of taxes between the Centre and states.

each-rupee-return-frm-delhi-Liju-news18-kerala

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North-vs-south

It will use data from the 2011 census while making recommendations for the five-year period beginning from 2020.

The southern states want the recommendations to be based on 1971 census data.

The states say that in comparison to northern states, they have recorded significant progress in population control.
| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi
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