'Centre Usurping Powers of States'

'Centre Usurping Powers of States'

Alleging that the Centre was trying to usurp the powers of the states, Andhra Pradesh Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu on Tuesday strongly objected to the terms and conditions set forth for the 15th Finance Commission for devolution of funds.

"We strongly object to the terms and conditions set forth for the 15th (Rpt) 15th Finance Commission (FFC) that suggest 2011 population be taken as the base, GST be enhanced and welfare schemes for the poor be reduced."

"Already the subsidy component for the poor has been reduced by one per cent last year. This shows the Centre has no real concern for the poor", he said in a statement.

The FFC conditions enable enhancement in the Centre s revenue while slashing the states share in Central taxes.

Moreover, the weightage proposed to be given to low income states would result in higher fund flow to non-performing states, he said.

This would be detrimental to the southern states, Yanamala observed.

The Centre claimed that devolution of funds rose from 32 to 42 per cent as per the 14th Finance Commission recommendation. But in reality the financial burden on the states increased by 30 per cent because the funding pattern for Centrally-sponsored schemes was made 60:40, he said.

"The Centre is trying to usurp the powers of the states. Is this cooperative federalism," he asked. The Centre should consult with all states before formulating the FFC guidelines and do justice, he demanded. Finance ministers of all South Indian states would meet in Thiruvananthapuram on April 10 to discuss all these issues, he said.