The terms of the 15th Finance Commission has sparked controversy, especially in the southern states, who say they have gotten the raw end of the deal despite having better social indicators.
Several leaders like Siddaramaiah, MK Stalin and Thomas Isaac have spoken out against the injustice meted to the southern states by the Centre.
Andhra Pradesh Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu, who last week joined the voices slamming against the Commission, has issued a statement criticising the Centre yet again. He also called for states to raise their voice against the unfair terms of the Commission and "protect their rights”.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the minister said that the states had hoped to get more power after Narendra Modi became Prime Minister. However, the opposite had happened.
“Shri Narendra Modi as Chief Minister of Gujarat demanded for 50% devolution of funds to states,” he pointed out. “It is not acceptable for Modi to have a particular stand as Chief Minister and act differently after becoming Prime Minister.”
Calling the terms of the 15th Finance Commission “discriminatory” against states, he warned that if implemented in their present form, “progressive states would suffer badly and conspiracy is going on to damage basic financial structure of the states.” He urged for a discussion on the terms to happen across the country.
“Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Odisha and Karnataka together will suffer Rs. 1,14,062 crores loss. We have sent requests to the Centre and organised conclaves of finance ministers, but it is sad that the Centre hasn’t responded. The Centre should not deprive the states of their rights”, Ramakrishnudu added.
Apart from the seven states that were represented in the recent Conclave of Finance Ministers held in Amaravati, he urged more states to participate in the next conclave in Delhi.
“Today, there is BJP in power at the Centre, tomorrow others might come. No matter who is in power, the basic structure of the Constitution must not be violated. Nobody has the right to dent the federal structure. The responsibility is on every state to protect its rights. All parties must respond on the issue keeping their politics aside,” Ramakrishnudu stated.