States want to draw 50 percent of total borrowings

May 7th, 2008 - 11:31 pm ICT by admin  

Thiruvananthapuram, May 7 (IANS) A two-day meeting of state finance ministers and top economists that concluded here Wednesday demanded that the states be allowed to draw 50 percent of the total market borrowings of the central and state governments. The meeting, titled ‘Centre-State Financial Relations in the Context of the 13th Finance Commission’, was jointly organised by the Kerala government, Gulati Institute of Finance and Taxation, and the Planning Board.

Addressing a joint press conference here, State Finance Minister Thomas Isaac and Planning Board Vice-Chairman Prabhat Patnaik said it was agreed that the finance ministers should collectively meet the 13th Finance Commission in addition to their own bi-lateral discussions.

“This sort of a meeting is taking place probably for the first time with a unanimous view coming from ministers from various political parties that this has to take place because of the practice of Finance Commissions imposing conditionalities on state governments,” said Isaac.

“Even though technically the centre should look into the manner in which the centrally sponsored schemes should be run, the best option would be to make it flexible. Of course, it should be done by the state governments with a social motive. Today, everything has to take place from the directive from Delhi… this should change,” Patnaik said.

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