Punjab MP calls for review of finance commission criteria for funds allocation to states

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PATIALA: Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MP Prem Singh Chandumajra on Friday called for a review of the population criteria for allocation of resources to the states by the 15th finance commission.
“The criteria of population adopted by the finance commission for finalising financial assistance to the states is loaded heavily against developed states like Punjab whose population is much less as against the states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar that have been late starter so far as developmental aspects are concerned,” he said.
“The rate of growth of population too is comparatively much less. The needs of Punjab are different and hence the same criteria can’t be applied to this state that is at a different level of development,” Chandumajra said in a statement.
Anandpur Sahib MP underlined that in a diverse country like India having glaring regional disparities, the centre would have to take various other aspects into account rather than focussing mainly on population.
The SAD senior vice-president said states like Punjab have already been “loser”. Punjab was hit hard when the centre decided to give special concessions to neighbouring hill states like Himachal Pradesh and Jammu-Kashmir for industrial development, he claimed.
“The 15th Finance commission dealt another blow by finalising devolution of resources on the basis of population. This situation would have to change as Punjab was already suffering from stagnation after reaching a plateau, especially in the farm sector,” he said.