CHENNAI : Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami has expressed serious concern over certain key Terms of Reference given to the 15th Finance Commission which would have adverse impact on Tamil Nadu and underscored the fact that “Growing disparity in the fiscal transfers among the States does not augur well for the country and could, in fact, undermine the strength of Indian Union.”
In his letter to the 15th Finance Commission Chairman NK Singh on Wednesday giving a detailed account on the likely adverse impact of certain clauses of the Terms of Reference on fiscal transfers to Tamil Nadu, he urged the commission to “Reduce the bias in the allocation of resources among the States.”He urged the commission to balance the need for fiscal transfers to less developed States while simultaneously meeting the growing aspirations and expectations of people of better performing States like Tamil Nadu. This could be achieved by reducing the bias in the allocation of resources among the States, he said.
Palaniswami pointed out that there has been a growing discontent among the people of Tamil Nadu on the unfair treatment meted out by successive finance commissions to their State. “Concerns are now being raised by people of all political and academic hues in the mainstream as well as social media that the resources from Tamil Nadu are unjustly being transferred to other States through the mechanism of finance commission causing a drag on its ability to grow further and impeding efforts of the State government towards fulfilling the growing aspirations of people,” he said and added that the growing disparity in the fiscal transfers would not augur well for the country.
Stating that adopting the population data of 2011 census would have a debilitating impact on the shares of States like Tamil Nadu, which had controlled population growth in a sustained manner over the years, he said “It would also have an adverse effect on the per capita income distance criteria, if the weights based on population of 1971 census (used hitherto) are replaced by 2011 census population.
These two factors would inflict a double whammy on Tamil Nadu. So, we oppose the use of 2011 census population data.”He said that in the event of adopting the 2011 census population data, the commission should moderate the per capita incomes by a suitable normalising factor after discussing with similar States which had controlled population, so as to neutralise its impact.