Patna: The Nitish Kumar government in Bihar would oppose any changes in terms of reference of the 15th finance commission and support the 2011 census as the benchmark for revenue sharing among the states.
An all-party meeting has been called on May 5 to discuss the matter and project a unanimous voice. The meeting will be chaired by Assembly Speaker Vijay Chaudhary. After discussion, a delegation will meet finance commission chairman NK Singh to apprise him about the demands of the state.
A note has been circulated by Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI), Patna, on behalf of the government which entails repercussion of changing the terms of reference.
A senior BJP leader told News18 that the demands of southern states to stick with 1971 census will adversely affect Bihar whose population has increased by almost 25 percent between 1991 and 2011.
On the other hand, southern states were able to check the rising population efficiently and their share in national population decreased from 24 percent in 1971 to about 20 percent in 2011.
The southern states, in a meeting in Thiruvananthapuram last month, had sought incentives for better performance in keeping the population in check and opposed finance commission’s move to give larger weightage to 2011 census.
After the uproar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had tweeted on April 12 that the Centre has suggested to the Finance Commission to consider incentivising states who 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,” he had written.
This has raised apprehension that finance commission might change the criteria. Shaibal Gupta Member director of ADRI told News 18, “Though it would be difficult now to change the terms of reference it is natural for any state to put forth its demands. We will help the government formulate a memorandum which could be handed over to the finance commission.”
It is learnt that Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar too raised the issue and sought special treatment for the state during his meeting with Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi on Wednesday.