TN Govt to take up issue of ToR with 15th Finance Commission
Chennai: Tamil Nadu has joined the other southern states in opposing certain terms of reference (ToR) of the 15th Finance Commission on using the 2011 census to calculate population for allocation of union tax revenue, saying it "would greatly impact" the state which has "efficiently" implemented population control measures.
The state government has decided to make a representation to the 15th Finance Commission, seeking amendment of these terms of reference (ToR) affecting devolution of funds to the state. The MPs from the state will meet the officials of the Finance Commission, it was decided at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister K Palaniswami yesterday, an official release said today.
At a conclave of their finance ministers held yesterday, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry had opined that ToR were in contradiction to the principles of federalism enshrined in the Constitution and would also result in revenue loss to performing states.
The meeting of the Tamil Nadu government, attended by state Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam who holds the Finance portfolio, and senior officials, discussed the ToR affecting the state, the release said.
At the meeting, it was "considered" that the recommendation to use the 2011 census to calculate population for allocation of union tax revenue in place of 1971 census "would greatly impact" Tamil Nadu, which has "efficiently" implemented population control measures in the last 40 years.
Palaniswami has taken up the issue of ToR affecting the state with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and the NITI Ayog by way of letters, the release said.
"On the directions of the chief minister, it was decided that a delegation of MPs from the state will meet (officials of) the 15th Finance Commission and seek amendment of ToR affecting Tamil Nadu," the release said.
Further, the MPs, presumably from the ruling AIADMK, will also put forth the state's stand in Parliament when the subject comes up for discussion, it added.
The ruling AIADMK has a total of 50 MPs-- 37 in the Lok Sabha and 13 in Rajya Sabha.
The DMK has no representation in Lok Sabha but has four members in the Upper House.
The BJP and the PMK have one MP each in the Lok Sabha.
Tamil Nadu and TRS-ruled Telangana had opted out of the conference of finance ministers of southern states hosted by Kerala yesterday to discuss issues of common concern with respect to the 15th Finance Commission.
The state government had not assigned any reason for it skipping the meeting.