Indian states are like beggars competing for alms: Prakash Karat


IMPHAL, November 2: The quasi-federal structure of the Indian Union has been a source for myriad problems right from the time it became a republic nation in 1950.

This was stated by general secretary of CPI (M), Prakash Karat while delivering a lecture on “Neo-liberal High Growth Trajectory and Centre-State Fiscal Relation” at the Senate Hall of Manipur University, Canchipur today.

Karat further maintained that the states have become like beggars competing for alms before the centre. The centre-state relation is in a murky situation with utmost power concentrated at the hands of the central government. There are also no proper devolution of power as well as decentralization of decision-making at the level of local bodies, he noted.

The common feature of all Indian states is that they have limited power and resources. The resources of the country are allocated in favour of the central government. Moreover, the appointment of Governors by the central government itself is unfitting of a federal state, he asserted.

Dwelling on the fiscal relation, Karat stated that the centre acts as a money lender which charges high rate of interest from the lent out money. The Planning Commission and Finance Commission are also not supposed to make planning or allocate fund for the states. The exclusion of state representatives has made the functioning of these commissions undemocratic.

The introduction of centrally sponsored schemes and creation of “special category state” have made the states totally dependent on the centre. The centre-state relation can never be improved if there is over-centralization of power. Moreover, India’s dream of becoming a superpower can never be realized unless there is re-structuring of the unitary system, Karat opined.

He further stated that the executives should not be given the free will to sign international treaties. All international treaties should be mandatorily approved by the Parliament.

Clarifying on the border dispute between India and China, Karat stated that the issue should be negotiated and settled through talks. Arunachal Pradesh is very much part of India and the centre should take up the initiative to resolve the border dispute.

The communist leader is here in the state for a two-day visit. He will be addressing a public meeting at GM Hall tomorrow.


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