VIJAYAWADA: Alleging that the Terms of Reference (ToR) of the 15th Finance Commission are violative of the spirit of cooperative federalism leading to erosion of financial autonomy of States, Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy and Finance Ministers of five states submitted a memorandum to President Ram Nath Kovind in New Delhi on Thursday.
They said the ToR of the 15th Finance Commission is different from those issued to previous finance commissions and some of the changes infringe upon the provisions of the Constitution and some others are disruptive of well-settled federal fiscal arrangements in the country. The delegation felt that the ToR will not allow the States to fulfil their Constitutional obligations.
Observing that the ToR will also prevent states from working effectively towards achievement of independent and distinct goals and aspirations within the overall Constitutional framework and will further weaken cooperative federalism, the delegation appealed to the President to amend the ToR of the 15th Finance Commission.
Delhi's Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Finance Ministers Yanamala Ramakrishnudu (Andhra Pradesh), Thomas Isaac (Kerala), Amit Mitra (West Bengal) and Manpreet Singh Badal (Punjab) were part of the delegation.
Speaking after meeting with President, Yanamala Ramakrishnudu said the AP government would not compromise on the rights of the State government and continue to fight against the Centre.
Maintaining that they will not allow the Centre to play havoc with developing States in the name of extending more support to backward states, he suggested that the Centre make special allocations to such States.
Making it clear that the 15th Finance Commission should consider the 1971 Census as the basis for revenue-sharing with States, he said a national-level conclave would be organised in June to discuss and highlight the ToR of the 15th Finance Commission.
It may be recalled here that two conclaves of Finance Ministers organised by Kerala and Andhra Pradesh government drafted a memorandum based on the deliberations made in the two meetings.