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Incentives to states for population control

PM rubbishes allegations on Finance Commission’s Terms of Reference.

On a hectic visit to the city amidst fast by the BJP MPs against the non-functioning of Parliament and black flag protests directed against him by various parties and organisations, here, over non-formation of the Cauvery Management Board, on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi pitched for cooperative federalism and urged all States to strive together and build a new India.

Allaying the apprehensions of southern states on the terms of reference (ToR) of the 15th Finance Commission, he said the Centre has suggested to the Finance Commission to consider incentivising states, which have worked on population control. “Thus, a state like Tamil Nadu, which has devoted a lot of effort, energy and resources towards population control would certainly benefit,” Mr Modi said while inaugurating a slew of projects at the Cancer Institute (WIA) here.

While choosing to brush aside the Cauvery protests, Mr Modi, who lashed out at his political adversaries, especially states that targeted him on the ToR of the 15th Finance Commission, said his BJP-led government was working on the principle of Sabka Sat, Sabka Vikas (collective efforts, inclusive growth). “A baseless allegation is being made about the terms of reference of the 15th Finance Commission, being biased against certain States or a particular region. Let me tell you something that our critics seem to have missed.

The Union Government has suggested to the Finance Commission to consider incentivising states who have worked on population control. By this yardstick, a state like Tamil Nadu, which has devoted a lot of effort, energy and resources towards population control would certainly benefit. This was not the case earlier,” Mr Modi said after inaugurating the diamond jubilee building of the Cancer Institute at Adyar.

Without going into further details, he said in the presence of Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and Deputy CM O. Panneerselvam, that “the Union government is committed to cooperative federalism. Our mantra is Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas. Let us all work together to build a new India, which would make our great freedom fighters proud.”

Tamil Nadu too joined other southern states in opposing certain ToR of the 15th Finance Commission on using the 2011 census to calculate the population for allocation of union tax revenue and contended that it would greatly impact the state which has efficiently implemented population control measures. The TN government has decided to make a representation to the 15th Finance Commission, seeking amendment of these ToR affecting devolution of funds to the State.

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