Prime Minister Modi on Thursday refuted charges that the Terms of Reference of the 15th Finance Commission were biased against certain states. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley too had rejected the charges of bias in allocation of funds to the southern states, calling it a “needless controversy”.
Speaking in Chennai, the Prime Minister said that the allegations were being made by “vested” interests and the NDA government was committed to cooperative federalism.
“Let me tell you, our critics seem to have missed, and they have missed something. The union government suggested to the finance commission to consider incentivising states which have worked on population control,” he said.
The prime minister referred to what he said was “a baseless allegation being made about the terms of reference of the 15th Finance Commission being biased against certain states or a particular region.”
Modi said by this yardstick a state like Tamil Nadu which devoted a lot of efforts, energy and resources for population control would certainly benefit. “I would like to remind this was not the case earlier,” he said after inaugurating the ‘Diamond Jubilee Building’ of the Cancer Institute here.
The Centre is committed to “cooperative federalism,” he said, adding, “our mantra is sab ka sath sab ka vikas, let us all work together to build a new India which would make our great freedom fighters proud.”
Earlier, on Wednesday, Jaitley’s reaction came after three southern states – Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh demanded reframing the Terms of Reference of the 15th Finance Commission for devolution of funds to states.
The three states and the government Puducherry, which is a Union Territory, alleged it was biased and in contradiction to principles of Federalism enshrined in the Constitution.
(With inputs from PTI)