Andhra FM to meet President over 15th Finance Commission’s ToR tomorrow
New Delhi [India], May 16 (ANI): Yanamala Rama Krishnudu, Minister for Finance, Andhra Pradesh, along with finance ministers of five states will meet President Ram Nath Kovind at 5 pm on May 17, here. The Finance Ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, West Bengal, Puducherry, Punjab and Delhi will also meet the President. They will submit a memorandum to the President on Terms of Reference (ToR) of the 15th Finance Commission. On May 9, Rama Krishnudu said that the ToR prescribed by the 15th Finance Commission are "discriminatory" against states. "The discussion over the ToR of the 15th Finance Commission should happen all over the country, as they are discriminatory against states. If they are implemented as it is, progressive states would suffer badly. A conspiracy is being hatched to damage the basic financial structure of such states," he had said on the sidelines of the Collectors' conference in Andhra Pradesh. Lashing out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Ramakrishnudu highlighted that under the leadership of the former, states lost all their privileges. "Shri Narendra Modi as Chief Minister of Gujarat had demanded 50 percent devolution of funds to states. We all hoped that states would get more powers if he became Prime Minister. But after this happened, states had to lose their rights. It is not acceptable for Prime Minister Modi to have a particular stand as chief minister and act differently after becoming Prime Minister," he had said. The state finance minister also urged all political parties to respond on the issue, keeping politics aside. Earlier, objections were raised by the finance ministers of multiple states, who alleged that the ToR prescribed would have a detrimental impact on fund allocation. Ramakrishnudu, at a conclave of finance ministers held in Amaravati on Monday, had stated that the use of population from census 2011 by the 15th Finance Commissionwith a greater weight for determining the allocation of funds to the States would cause great injustice to the States. He also claimed that this approach would penalise States which have shown declining fertility rates and lower population growth over the past four decades. Moreover, Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, while highlighting the impact of Goods and Services Tax (GST)-related changes, opined that the states needed to take care of power subsidies, food security and facilities for their people, adding that the ToR acts as an impediment. Meanwhile, the 15th Finance Commission on May 9 constituted an advisory council to advise and assist them on any issue or subject related to the ToR prescribed by it.
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