The former Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh has said the government should have taken chief ministers’ views before changing the terms of reference of the 15th Finance Commission, adding that unilateralism is not good for federal policy and cooperative federalism.
In July, the Centre changed the terms of reference of the 15th Finance Commission and mandated the panel to suggest ways for allocation of non-lapsable funds for defence and internal security.
Speaking at an event, Dr. Singh said any change in the panel’s terms of reference at the fag-end of its term should have been done in consultation with the states. 'The best course would have been for the Central government that if it wants to tailor the terms of reference, it should be backed by Chief Ministers’ Conference, which is now under the auspices of NITI Aayog, otherwise there would be strong feeling that the (Central) government is trying to rob the states of due resource allotment.
'I think that it is not good for the federal polity of our country and cooperative federalism we all swear by these days,' Dr. Singh said while addressing the ‘National Seminar on Additional Terms of Reference of the 15th Finance Commission.