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Unfortunate that 15th finance panel has no member from southern India: K'taka minister


Press Trust of India Bengaluru
Karnataka Minister Krishna Byre Gowda Wednesday said it is "unfortunate" that the five-member 15th Finance Commission has no representative from southern India.
He, however, hoped that the panel will do justice to the better-performing states of the south by making "fair recommendations".
"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 the past many members from the south have done illustrious service to the nation," Gowda tweeted.
His comments come a day after the 15th Finance Commission, which was on a visit to Karnataka, held discussions with Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, his cabinet ministers and state government officials.
The 15th Finance Commission is headed by N K Singh. Its members include A N Jha, Ashok Lahiri, Anoop Singh and Ramesh Chand.
Claiming that "injustice" was done to Karnataka in Union government allocations during 2015-20, Gowda, in a series of tweets, said that to combat drought and floods the state got Rs 1,527 crore under SDRF for the period of 2015-20, whereas Maharashtra got Rs 8,195 crore.
"We have appealed to the commission to correct these injustices and make fair recommendations," he said.
"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," the minister said.
Alleging that "injustice" has been done to Karnataka in terms of the allocation under the State and National Disaster Relief Fund, Kumaraswamy during his meeting with the 15th Finance Commission on Tuesday had urged it to substantially increase the allocations for the state.
The panel had on Tuesday stated that there is an "enigma of two Karnatakas" with the existence of both high per-capita income and high poverty numbers in the state at the same time.
In what is seen as a reaction to this, Gowda in a tweet said, "While Bengaluru is economically strong, few parts of Karnataka are backward in North and South Karnataka, with considerable poverty. These parts require large funds for development. Hence, fund allocation for Karnataka by the Finance Commission is critical for the State (sic)."

"Bengaluru is a national asset, centre of innovation, opportunities, entrepreneurship, jobs, exports, taxes. Next 4 yrs BLR needs an investment of more than Rs 1 lakh crore. In addition to State govt funds, BLR also needs direct fund allocation from Finance Commission," the minister said.
He also added that Karnataka has asked the Centre that 1 per cent of all national tax revenue be allocated for metro cities like Bengaluru.
During the meeting on Tuesday, Karnataka has asked for special grants (state-specific) amounting to Rs 1,42,260 crore and also sought special funding for Bengaluru as the city plays an important role in employment generation for the country and as a growth engine to the national economy.

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First Published: Jun 26 2019 | 5:00 PM IST

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