Finance Commission Should Think of Bringing About Inter-State Equality Index- C.M. Shri Kamal Nath

Farm Growth should reflect in Poverty Reduction
Finance Commission Expresses Concern over Poor Human Development Index
Discussions with 15th Finance Commission on State’s Expectations
Bhopal, July 4, 2019 (Muslim Saleem): The Chief Minister Shri Kamal Nath has expected the 15th Finance Commission to think about inter-state equality going beyond the Centre- State relationship. While interacting with the Finance Commission on State’s expectations at Mantralaya here today, Shri Kamal Nath urged the Finance Commission to define the pattern of cooperative federal system with a fresh approach.
The Chief Minister said that every state has its own strength and one cannot be compared with others on the basis of one size-fits-all parameter. Therefore, this approach should be kept in mind while dealing with the resources of the State. He said that the resource of a State is also the resource of the country of which all states are stakeholders. Therefore, States should be compensated for maintaining and augmenting their resources.
The Chief Minister said that Madhya Pradesh is a tribal dominated State and is a mineral rich State. The forest wealth is very rich. It cannot be compared to other states. The Finance Commission must keep this in mind. He said that the revenue spent on saving the forest resources is not only a great revenue loss but also the loss of revenue generating opportunities. The Finance Commission should consider how it could be compensated. Madhya Pradesh’s forests have an important role in mitigating the impact of climate change and the Madhya Pradesh is not the only State at the risk of climate change ill-effects.
The Chief Minister said that due to maintenance of forests, development activities are minimal. About one crore tribal people inhabit the forest. In absence of development opportunities, extremism emerges. The Chief Minister said that in the absence of economic activities urbanization process remains slow. It has an impact in village and urban life simultaneously leading to income disparity.
The Chief Minister said that Madhya Pradesh is a Mineral- State but in the last two decades, there is only one policy for all minerals. There should be a mineral specific separate policy.
Sharing his thoughts on the sharing of taxes, the Chief Minister said that the method of tax revenue sharing needs to be re-looked. If it does not happen then the disparities between the States will rise. He said that the States must have equal share in collection of the cess and surcharge by the Centre.
Sharing the expectations of the State on agriculture sector, the Chief Minister said that second agricultural revolution is needed. He said that due to absence of remunerative prices despite high production and productivity, the condition of farmers has not improved expectedly. The cost of cultivation increases manifold and the mechanism of minimum support price remains helpless. The farmers fall into debt cycle and expected results of the government’s efforts elude.
The Chairman of the Finance Commission Shri N. K. Singh, agreeing to the views of the Chief Minister, said that the 14th Finance Commission had focus on forest conservation and compensation. He also agreed that there should be a separate policy for each mineral. He expressed concern over the State’s poor performance in human development, especially in education and health. Shri Singh also expressed surprise over the fact that even after reportedly higher agricultural growth rate of Madhya Pradesh, its reflection in poverty eradication is not evident.
Members of the Finance Commission Shri Ajay Narayan Jha, Mr. Ramesh Chandra, Shri Ashok Lahiri, Shri Anoop Singh and Member Secretary of the Commission Shri Arvind Mehta and senior officials of the State were present.