BHUBANESWAR: With the State Government joining the southern States’ chorus in opposing the terms of reference (ToR) of the 15th Finance Commission, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday said Odisha should not be apprehensive of the performance oriented parameters set by the panel.
Making an appeal to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik not to politicise the issue, Pradhan told a media conference here that the States performing better in achieving population stabilisation including Odisha will get more benefits from the 15th Finance Commission.In a recent letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister had taken objection to the Finance Commission asking States to use 2011 census data as against the earlier practice of using 1971 data for determination of share of a State in the divisible pool.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitely have already dispelled the apprehension saying a baseless allegation is being made about the ToR of the 15th Finance Commission that it is biased against certain States or a particular region, Pradhan said.
Besides, Jaitely has clarified that the 14th Fiance Commission allocated 10 per cent weight to 2011 census data to capture the demographic changes since 1971 for a realistic assessment of the needs of the States. As a result, 42 per cent divisible pool of taxes goes to the States against the previous 32 per cent,
“The State Government’s objection to the New India initiatives of the Prime Minister is without any logic as it aims at providing pucca houses to all, pipe water supply to all households, all-weather road connectivity and electricity to all villages,” Pradhan said. ‘
“As the State Government has been boasting of doing well in all the performance indicators, the Chief Minister has nothing to worry. Is he scared of being exposed of his Government’s poor performance?,” Pradhan wondered.In its ToR, the 15th Finance Commission has given maximum weightage to States which have undertaken reforms to maximise revenue generation, taken adequate disaster preparedness measures, empowered the panchayati raj institutions by devolving more power and brought noticeable changes in the power distribution sector.
Referring to the direct distribution of funds under some populist measures like Ama Gaon Ama Vikas (Our Village, Our Develoipment) bypassing all elected PRI representatives, the Union Minister said such programmes are likely to be reviewed by the 15th Finance Commission.