Union government's suggestion to 15th Finance Commission, under the Terms of Reference (ToR), was to consider incentivising the states that have worked towards population control, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, referring to the allegations raised by some of the South Indian states that the Centre's suggestion to consider the tax sharing and devolution based on 2011 census would harm their interests.
Speaking at the inauguration of Diamond Jubilee Building of Cancer Institute in Chennai, Modi said, "A baseless allegation is being made about the Terms of Reference (ToR) of the 15th finance commission being biased against certain states of a particular region. Let me tell you, that our critics seem to have missed, and they have missed something."
"The Union government has suggested to the Finance Commission to consider incentivising states who have worked on population control," he added.
By this yardstick, the state like Tamil Nadu which had devoted a lot of effort, energy and resources towards population control would certainly benefit. "I would like to remind, this was not the case earlier," the PM said, adding the issue has been raised by certain vested interest over the last few days.
The Union government is committed to cooperative federalism and all need to work together to build a new India which would make our great freedom fighters proud said Modi.
The finance ministers and other officials from Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka - and the Union Territory of Puducherry, met in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, on April 10 to discuss their concerns on the ToR of the 15th Finance Commission.
The concern was that the Union government reportedly mandated the Commission in the ToR to base its decision for tax sharing and devolution of resources on the 2011 census as against the practice of using 1971 census.
The states raised their protest saying that they have worked on population control during this period, and if the tax sharing and devolution are based on the latest population data, these states would stand to lose while some other states which were not that focused on population control would benefit. Tamil Nadu, however, stayed away from the meeting held this week in Thiruvananthapuram.