Yanamala Ramakrishnudu also said a meeting of south Indian Finance Ministers could be hosted in Andhra Pradesh in May.

Centre is diluting rights of states says Andhra Finance Minister
news Politics Sunday, April 22, 2018 - 10:25

Andhra Pradesh Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu lashed out against the Centre on Saturday and said that the BJP government was diluting the rights of state governments, with the help of the 15th Finance Commission. 

In a statement issued in VIjayawada on Saturday, Ramakrishnudu said that the state's rights were being denied and the spirit of federalism was being damaged, despite the Finance Commission being an independent body under the Constitution. 

He also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his 'autocratic' rule posed a threat to democracy in India.

Ramakrishnudu, who took part in the south Indian Finance Ministers meeting, hosted by the Kerala government this month, said that a similar meeting could be hosted in Andhra Pradesh in May. 

The 15th Finance Commission is a body that determines how the tax revenue collected by the Centre is distributed among the states.

Several southern states have voiced their opposition against the ‘unjust’ Terms of Reference (ToR), arguing that it will end up penalising them rather than rewarding them for their achievements. 

The Kerala meeting had called the ToR a "threat to federalism".

The issue was first raised by Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, which was followed by BJP's ally-turned-foe Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N Chandrababu Naidu. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi rejected the allegations of southern states that the ToR of the Commission were biased against them and said it would benefit states that took population control measures.

"Let me tell you our critics seem to have missed something. The Union government has suggested to the Finance Commission to consider incentivising states who have worked on population control. By this yardstick, states like Tamil Nadu, which has devoted a lot of efforts, energy and resources towards population control, would certainly benefit," he said.

With IANS inputs