South would benefit from 15th Finance Commission: PM

South would benefit from 15th Finance Commission: PM

States that have done well on population control would certainly benefit from the 15th Finance Commission as the Union Government has suggested incentivising them for the efforts, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said here on Thursday.

He also dismissed as "baseless allegations" suggestions that the Terms of Reference of the 15th Finance Commission, being biased against certain states, or a particular region. Majority of the southern states have taken objection to the use of 2011 population data for tax devolution contending that they would be punished by the way of less funds for "performing well" on population control.

"Lastly, let me turn for a while, to an issue that has been raised by certain vested interests over the last few days. Let me tell you something, that our critics seem to have missed, and they have missed something. The Union Government has suggested to the Finance Commission to consider incentivizing states who have worked on population control.

"By this yardstick, a state like Tamil Nadu, which has devoted a lot of effort, energy and resources towards population control would certainly benefit. This was not the case earlier," Modi said, broaching the topic at the end of his speech delivered at the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of the Adyar Cancer Institute.

"The Union Government is committed to cooperative federalism. Our mantra is Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas. Let us all work together to build a New India, which would make our great freedom fighters proud," Modi said.

His comments come two days after Finance Ministers of Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry resolved to take the debate of "discriminatory terms" of the Finance Commission towards states that have performed well. Though Tamil Nadu and Telangana also have reservations against the new ToR, the respective governments did not send their representatives to the meeting called by Kerala Government.

The states want allocation of funds to be based on the 1971 census data since all of them have successfully reduced their population growth rates. If the 2011 census is taken into account, the states say, they would lose out too much on funds and other states that have not taken enough efforts to control population would stand to gain.

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