With higher population growth, Haryana may pip Punjab in bagging central funds
Census blues: Manpreet says ‘not fair’, joins non-BJP states in opposing population-based formula of 15th Finance Commission.Updated: May 09, 2018 11:07 IST
There is a new twist to the old rivalry between neighbours Punjab and Haryana over sports medals, river waters and the state capital.
With a bustling hub of business at Gurugram and Faridabad in its kitty, Haryana has shown a higher population growth than Punjab. Going by the population control mission of the Government of India, Punjab deserves a pat on its back. But it has found itself at the receiving end in the new terms of reference of the 15th Finance Commission, which would be using the 2011 census as its yardstick for devolution of funds.
Punjab finance minister Manpreet Badal has joined the bandwagon of non-BJP states opposing it tooth and nail. He was among the seven FMs who met in Amaravati, the new capital of Andhra Pradesh, on Monday to oppose the terms of reference of the 15th Finance Commission.
Manpreet says it is not fair to penalise Punjab, where the fertility rate is just 1.7% and the decadal population growth was 104%, according to the 2011 census. “Haryana would get more funds than us as its population growth rate was 153%. Our share in central taxes is just 2.7%. Every one per cent cut in devolution makes a difference of Rs 700 crore to us. We cannot allow it. At the Amaravati meeting, we have passed a resolution to submit a memorandum to the President of India against the move. I have sought the CM’s approval on Tuesday at the cabinet to accompany other state FMs to meet the President,” he said.
Stating that earlier too, terms of reference have been changed, Manpreet said: “It is actually states such as Bihar, UP, Rajasthan etc, which have failed to control their population who will benefit. But Punjab cannot be punished for its good performance.”
He also questioned the package doled out to Maharashtra farmers by the Centre saying Punjab deserved it more for its contribution to country’s food security.
‘Like TDP, Harsimrat too should quit Modi cabinet’
Punjab finance minister used his visit to Andhra Pradesh to take a dig at his estranged sister-in-law, Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, asking her to put in her papers over Centre’s “apathy towards Punjab”. He said if the TDP could snap ties with the BJP over “injustice” to Andhra Pradesh, what stops the Akalis from doing so. “During the March session, the Akalis claimed GST on langar would be waived by the Centre. It has yet to happen. Nor has any package come to Punjab as debt relief. Akalis are sitting in the alliance as goonga pehelwan,” he added.