New Delhi: The Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh chaired the 11th Standing Committee meeting of the Inter-State Council here today. The Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs and Defence, Arun Jaitley, the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, Dr. Raman Singh, Chief Minister of Tripura, Manik Sarkar, Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik and Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Adityanath attended the meeting. The Ministers from states of Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan represented these states at the meeting.
Senior officers from the Union Ministries and from the state Governments also assisted the members of the Standing Committee in the discussion along with the officers from the Inter-State Council Secretariat.
In his inaugural address, the Home Minister said that we share a common desire to take this nation forward and we are fully convinced that prosperity can come only when there is peace and stability. He further emphasized that India, is a nation characterized by unity in diversity, and hence it is important that trust and cordiality form the bedrock for Centre-State cooperation and we rise above narrow sectarian interests to focus on the larger picture of national development. Today’s meeting was in pursuance of the decisions of the Inter-State Council meeting held on July 16, 2016.
The Punchhi Commission notified in 2005, submitted its report in 2010. The recommendations of the Punchhi Commission, which are contained in seven Volumes pertain to History of Centre-State Relations in India; Constitutional Governance and Management of Centre-State Relations; Centre-State Financial Relations and Planning; Local Self-Governments and Decentralized Governance; Internal Security, Criminal Justice and Centre State Co-operation; Environment, Natural Resources & Infrastructure; and Socio-Economic Development, Public Policy and Good Governance. The various Union Ministries and all the State Governments responded to the recommendations made in the report by providing detailed comments. The comments have been analysed in the Inter-State Council Secretariat.
The Standing Committee examined in detail various recommendations of the Punchhi Commission contained in Volume II & III. The Volume II of the report is related to provisions of the Constitution that are concerned with important aspects of Constitutional governance such as role of Governors, deployment of Central forces, federal balance of power, ensuring better coordination between Centre and States and other important issues of Centre-State relations.
The recommendations in Volume III of the Punchhi Commission report are related to Centre-State financial relations and cover the subjects of (a) fiscal transfers to states (b) Goods and Services Tax and (c) the Centre-State fiscal relations. The discussions centred around various aspects of Centre-State relations having implications for governance and flowing from Constitutional provisions.
The remaining volumes of the Punchhi Commission recommendations will be taken up in subsequent meetings of the Standing Committee along with the implications of the recent developments in terms of the GST Act, the 14th Finance Commission Report and formation of NITI AAYOG, rationalisation of Centrally sponsored schemes etc.
The recommendations of the Standing Committee finalized at this meeting will be placed before the Inter-State Council.