States wary of 'one-size-fits-all' central schemes | india | Hindustan Times
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States wary of 'one-size-fits-all' central schemes

india Updated: Jul 25, 2010 16:09 IST

An increasing number of states are growing restive about the central government's increasing tendency to impose its schemes on them irrespective of their efficacy and feel the "one-size-fits-all" approach no longer works for them.

The resentment was highlighted during the 55th National Developmental Council (NDC) meet in New Delhi on Saturday, which was chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and saw virtually all chief ministers in attendance, apart from key members of the central cabinet.

Cutting across political affiliations of their ruling parties, even some Congress-ruled states such as Maharashtra expressed reservations against central schemes -- which was literally resented by parties with both Left and right-wing ideologies.

"There is a growing tendency on the part of the central government to start ambitious and populist schemes for which they take credit at the expense of states by lowering allocations," Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said.

"Earlier discussions favoured reduction both in the number and allocation of resources for centrally-sponsored schemes. Far from this, we see a reverse trend to expand these schemes in multiple ways including through legislation", said Kumar.

"This represents an increased encroachment on the autonomy of the states contrary to the spirit the Constitution," he said.

"The 13th Finance Commission also recommended that initiative should be taken to reduce the number of one-size-fits-all centrally-sponsored scheme," Kumar said and expressed resentment that such schemes were announced without any consultation with states.