Leaders of South India speak in a united voice against the use of 2011 census for central funds distribution

Leaders of South India speak in united voice against use of 2011 census for central funds distribution

Leaders of South India speak in a united voice against the use of 2011 census for central funds distribution

In a rare trend, politicians of southern states are apparently presenting a somewhat unified opinion.

‘We need to resist’, was the simple call of action that was issued on Friday to the Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, and Puducherry by Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah through a tweet.

Protest against 15th Finance Commission by the Narendra Modi Government

The call was given in relation to and to jointly protest against the recommendations given to the 15th Finance Commission by the Narendra Modi government. According to the recommendations, the Union government has asked the Commission to follow the 2011 census for determination of the amount of money to be given by the Centre to the various state governments. Till now, this had been done according to the census of 1971.

“Center asks 15th FC to use 2011 census data instead of 1971 census used so far to determine devolution of taxes. This will further affect the interests of the south: we need to resist,” said the tweet from Siddaramaiah on Friday.

In the post, the twitter handle of the six other Chief Ministers of the southern states were tagged by him. Congress leader Shashi Tharoor and DMK leader MK Stalin were also tagged on the tweet.

Call to implement population control

This issue apparently has evoked a consistent voice from politicians of the southern states of the country – both who are in power as well as those outside of it amongst the most important points that the southern states want to stress on is the controlling of the population growth rate in the various states in the south through policies and efforts while the states in the north – especially in the ‘cow belt’ have allowed the population in their states to explode. This essentially creates a huge difference in the population between the northern and the southern states. Therefore, the efforts that the southern states have taken to control the population would act as a hindrance to getting central funds if the centre distributes funds to states on the basis of the 2011 population numbers. This is because the population of the southern states would be much lower according to the 2011 census.

Finance Commission of India

Finance Commission of India

South India essentially subsidizing the North Indian State with Higher Population

There has been long standing grudge of the southern states about the current mismatch and disparity in the distribution of funds because the southern states claim that they are essentially subsidizing the northern states with higher population. This controversy is sure to add fuel to that demand.

Allegations that that the Centre gives back much less than it should to their states in comparison to the taxes that they collect for their states, have already been made openly by Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu and Telangana CM Chandrasekhar Rao.

Siddaramaiah had echoed the same sentiments when, in a column last week, he claimed that the north of the country is being ‘subsidized’ by the southern states.

Now considering that these grudges are on the basis of the current proportion of central funds that they receive and of the 2011 census forms the basis of the distribution then the gap of disparity would widen further.

It has been just days that DMK leader MK Stalin had given a call to the southern states to break away from India. He also spoke out against the proposed process of devolution of Central funds in two letters – one the Chief Ministers of 10 southern states and the other to PM Modi.