Kerala today made a strong pitch for a higher share of the Centre in new centrally-sponsored schemes (CSS), which it said should be at 75 per cent.
Speaking at a NITI Aayog meeting of sub-group of Chief Ministers on rationalisation of CSS here, Kerala CM Oommen Chandy said the allocation of Rs 1.69 lakh crore for CSS this year was inadequate, considering the demand of the National Development Agenda.
“Central schemes, or new CSS, designed by central ministries should not eat into the already meagre resources available to state governments. A recommendation to this effect should be added to the list of recommendations which this sub-group intends to make,” he said.
“We have held the view, along with other states, that theshare of the central government in core schemes should be 75per cent, not 60 per cent, as proposed in the draft report.”
Stressing that both the Centre and states are stakeholders of CSS, he said they need to be consulted.
“NITI Aayog should coordinate this exercise as well as principles by which state-wise allocations will be made for each core scheme in the Rashtriya Krishi Vikash Yojana (RKVY) model,” the CM added.
Chandy also wanted a clear identification of the core schemes and bringing ‘housing for all’ under the ambit of the core of the core.
“We need a fix on what are the core schemes, core of core schemes, national development agenda schemes and optional schemes. Housing for all should be part of the core of the core. Health for all should be part of the National Development Agenda,” he said.
He, however, didn’t subscribe to the view that implementation of the 14th Finance Commission recommendations has squeezed the fiscal space of the Centre.
The Kerala CM took the line that the NITI Aayog should act as a single window that states can approach in respect of all matters relating to CSS and other development schemes.
“I may remind my colleagues that in the resolution setting up the NITI Aayog as well as the PIB note put up on the website of the PMO, the aspect of Centre-state co-ordination is specifically mentioned,” the CM added.
Pointing out that the Planning Commission played a major role in keeping the spirit of co-operative federalism alive, Chandy expressed hope that it’s carried forward.
“India has led a long tradition of co-operative federalism in which the Planning Commission has played a major role. I hope this tradition will continue in future,” he said.