Karnataka govt mulls revival of economic alliance of southern states

In 2018, a similar alliance proposed by the then finance minister of Kerala Dr Thomas Issac could not be materialised as Karnataka election dates were announced before they could take a decision.
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Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s economic advisor Basavaraj Rayareddi has said that a proposal to form an “Economic Alliance of Southern States’ is on the anvil. The objective of the alliance is to ensure that the Union government provides equitable distribution of resources to southern states. The alliance aims to bring together non-BJP governments in the south against the discriminatory economic policies introduced by the Union government.     

In 2018, Kerala’s finance minister Dr Thomas Issac tried to form a similar alliance against the 15th Finance Commission’s formula for sharing of revenue between centre and the states. He met with Andhra Pradesh finance minister Y Ramakrishnadu, Karnataka agriculture minister Krishna Byre Gowda and Puducherry chief minister V Narayanaswamy. The alliance could not be materialised as Karnataka election dates were announced before the southern states could take a decision.

Meanwhile, #MyTaxMyRight and #SouthTaxMovement, two hashtags created by Kannada social media users demanding separate tax for southern states, kicked up a storm after Siddaramaiah lent his support on February 4. He said that the taxes paid by Kannadigas are being shared by northern states, and are not being useful for Karnataka.

Taking to his X account, Siddaramaiah had said, “I am in full support of the #ನನ್ನತೆರಿಗೆನನ್ನಹಕ್ಕು Twitter campaign by Kannadigas to condemn the injustice being done to Karnataka by the Union government in tax distribution. The northern states, which owe taxes to the southern states of India, can never be a model for us. Everyone should get over this false idea. Karnataka, which is building a strong nation with hard work, is a model for India. The condition of the Kannadigas in the country is as if they gave bread to the one who eats while sitting, and drew the pen to the son of the worker. This must change. My thanks to the intelligent people of the country who have raised their voice for justice. I am with you, if all our voices are united, it will be heard till Delhi.”

Releasing a statement showing state-wise distribution of net proceeds of Union taxes and Duties, Chittapur MLA Priyank Kharge on his X account said that the centre should stop treating Karnataka as an enemy state while comparing northern and southern states to the amount of money they receive. According to the post, while Uttar Pradesh gets around Rs 2.18 lakh crore rupees, Karnataka gets only 44,485 crore rupees.

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