After hosting dinner to the chairman and members of the 14th Finance Commission on Wednesday night, the state government on Thursday presented its wish list to them: over Rs 30,000 crore as outright grant, increase to 40 percent the states’ share in the divisible pool of Central taxes, hike in grants to civic bodies and a new approach to reward the states that achieve growth, rather than penalising them.
Chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, assisted by finance minister Anam Ramanarayana Reddy and chief secretary PK Mohanty, wanted the Finance Commission to recommend to the Centre to share the burden of subsidy that the state government provides for welfare schemes.
The chief minister, who is known for turning up late for meetings, arrived at 10.20 am, 10 minutes ahead of the scheduled time of meeting with Finance Commission chairman YV Reddy and members Prof Abhijit Sen, Sushma Nath, M Govida Rao and Sudipto Mundle.
Except for social welfare minister Pithani Satyanarayana, there was no other minister in the meeting hall when the cheif minister arrived. As the chief minister was making presentation, a few ministers walked in. There was no sign of deputy chief minister Damodar Rajanarasimha or other important ministers.
The chief minister, in his long address, gave an account of the various welfare schemes in force in the state, besides how legislative protection was given to funds meant for SCs and STs and also for Bangaru Thalli Scheme, through which financial help is sought to be given to the girl child till she attains the age of 21.
The chief minister argued that the state had achieved commendable growth, but euphoria is missing because of the tendency to penalise such states and help those which are low on the growth graph. Apart from this, the Centre was announcing schemes during the middle of the year for which it wants the states to share the burden, which is sending financial planning into disarray.
He wanted 100 percent funding by the Centre for such schemes and also appropriate compensation till such time the General Sales Tax regimen comes into effect.
He was unhappy that the state’s hare of the divisible pool of Central taxes was coming down over the years and wanted it to be enhanced to at least 40 pc. He also wanted enhancement of grants to local bodies, increase in the share of calamity relief fund.