The much-talked about Finance Ministers’ conclave in Amaravati sounded two different notes. While Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu was more worried about the possibility of the Centre reducing the Lok Sabha seats on the basis of 2011 population, Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu finds a fall in the financial devolution from the Centre to the States. Chandrababu Naidu wanted the Central government to take 1971 population as the basis for devolution of funds and as well as reorganisation of the Lok Sabha and Assembly constituencies.
The meeting of the finance ministers was held to discuss the terms of reference given to the 15th Finance Commission by the NDA government. Interestingly, the TDP was part of the NDA government when the terms of reference were framed to the 15th Finance Commission. It was the Kerala finance minister who saw the injustice to the progressing States on the terms of reference and called for the first meeting in Tiruvanathapuram. It was later taken over by AP finance minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu who convened the meeting in Amaravati.
However, Chandrababu Naidu raised alarm over the possibility of the fall in the number of Lok Sabha seats because of the terms of reference and that would reduce the representation to the southern States. While the finance ministers expressed concern over the possibility of the Central government reducing the funds share to the States, he saw the possibility of the number of Lok Sabha seats.
After 1971, several states, mostly the southern States have implemented the family planning system and have brought down the population looking at it as an economic measure. Between 1971 and 2011, there was a great fall in the population of the southern States and if the funds are allocated based on the 2011 population these states would lose heavily on economic front. There would also be a great loss to these states in the central sponsored schemes which also come to the States based on the population ratio.