Odisha's apprehensions over 15th Finance Commission baseless: Pradhan

With the State Government joining the southern States' chorus in opposing the terms of reference (ToR) of the 15th Finance Commission, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday said Odisha should not be apprehensive of the performance oriented parameters set by the panel.

Explaining mediapersons, Pradhan said, "The 15th Finance Commission has given 17 percent weightage to the 1971 census data and 10 percent weightage to the 2011 data".

Pradhan clarified that there will be no cut in the allocation to Odisha.

In a letter to Prime Minister on April 13 last, the chief minister said the ToR of the 15 th Finance Commission has made significant departures from the Terms of Reference of previous Finance Commissions, which will have adverse impact on horizontal devolution for Odisha as well as vertical devolution for States.

Referring to the direct distribution of funds under some populist measures like Ama Gaon Ama Vikas (Our Village, Our Develoipment) bypassing all elected PRI representatives, the Union Minister said such programmes are likely to be reviewed by the 15th Finance Commission.

He requested the Prime Minister to ensure that the commission uses the population data of the 1971 census instead of that of 2011 while making its recommendations.

Earlier, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying that the ToR of the 15th Finance Commission may adversely impact devolution of resources to the State.

He asked the Chief Minister to refrain from playing politics on the issue and think of the development of the state.