What are the demands raised by States in their quest for greater autonomy? Critically discuss some of the measures taken by the union government in recent years to fulfill these demands.

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DAY – 21: Insights Self Study Guide for Prelims + Mains – 2015

24 June 2015

Following Questions are Based on this TIMETABLE


What are the demands raised by States in their quest for greater autonomy? Critically discuss some of the measures taken by the union government in recent years to fulfill these demands. (200 Words)

NCERT – Class XI, Indian Constitution at Work, Chapter – 7

  • Batman

    In recent years ,there has been rising clamor from states for a new approach towards the center -state relation in which the states would enjoy greater autonomy with regard to policy matters ,regulations and cooperation based on the notion of cooperative federalism rather than the one in which the center is seen to be enjoy constitutional dominance over states.Some of the demands raised by states for greater autonomy are summarised below:

    a) with reagard to tax collection and share in tax proceeds ,states have demanded greater share in the central divisible pool of taxes to attain financial independence form center;concern over the new uniform tax policy GST , states have appropriate compensations in case of their decline in revenues in initial years .

    (b). with regard to Centrally sponsored schemes and flagship programmes, call for greater say in framing , implementation and allocation of funds to centrally sponsored schemes(CSSs) based on states’ individual and local needs rather than being uniformly forced upon by the center ;scrapping the traditional ‘one size fits all’ policy and adoption of ‘buttom to top’ approach .

    (c).With regard to central grants and other central assistance,compensations in wake of natural and man made calamity like floods, unseasonal or deficient rainfall,decline in food productivity and farm loans .
    (d) cooperation and policy on issues of national concern like health ,education , terrorism and riots .

    Some of the measures taken by the union government in recent time to fulfill the demand of greater autonomy form states are as follows:-

    a) acceptance of the 14th Finance Commission recommendation to increase the states share in the divisible pool from 32% to 42% for the period 2015-20- this move would give boost to cooperative federalism apart from helping states in attaining financial independence.
    b) reduction in the number of CSSs from 188 to 66 currently in a move to restructure these schemes on the demands of states.A further restructuring of CSSs to bring their number to at most 25, has been proposed by states in a recent meeting of CMs .
    c) Center has been negotiating with states for building consensus by sorting out differences with states and addressing their conern regarding the possible decline in tax revenues of states in the aftermath of GST adoption.

    • raju gogula

      very valid info…and nice answer as usual.But demands could b named as the q asked what are the demands and measures must be elaborated(as u did). plz review mine.

    • M2k

      Good one ….
      You may also mentioned about concurrent list and state list reference …. On that state need more funds ..

    • Deepak Kumar Pandit

      Nicely Written, but word limit is crossed in numbers what I feel.

    • sheshi

      dont restrict it to fiscal issues only.expand the scope by including political,administrative issues and others like greater say in foreign policy issues affecting the states etc.

      • gajender

        Like in appointment of chief justice of highcourt , governor ,and in transfer also.
        They are demanding scraping of civil services and nearly 90%of tax receipt.
        More allowance to borrow loans directly from foreign entities.
        States wants the removal of article 356 in its entity and leaving the responsibility on council to govern in case of untimely legislative dissolution.

  • raju gogula

    In our Quasi federal form of government, the constitution of India has given more powers to the centre in some aspects to maintain the unity and integrity of the country. However many states and parties have,from time to time demanded that state should have more autonomy.

    demands raised by states for grater autonomy:
    1). Some states like tamil nadu, Punjab,WB have demanded to change the division of power in favour of states.
    2). Independent sources of revenue(tax) and independent control over resources that is to say to have financial autonomy. (Eg: case of GST)
    3). Separate administrative powers of the state.
    4). Autonomy related to cultural and linguistic issues.
    5). The nature of appointment and role of the governor shows the clear interference of centre as they are appointed by the centre.
    6). Demands for new states for better allocation and decentralisation of resources.

    Measures taken by Union Govt:
    1).Increasing the states share in the divisible pool from 32% to 42% for the period 2015-20, by accepting 14th commission recommendations to give more financial independence to the states.
    2) reduction in the number of CSSs from 188 to 66 currently in a move to restructure these schemes on the demands of states.further reduction is being in consideration.
    3) In GST bill,to address states’ concerns, centre announced a compensation for the first three years.(thought not accepted by the states)

    4). Apart from the above various states were given special provisions, aids, grants to fulfil the demands of them.

    • Batman

      Very nice answer ,buddy! But,you have missed mentioning states stands on the issue of ‘centrally sponsored schemes(CSSs) ‘.Further, the points ‘1’ and ‘3’ are little bit vague.Please add some more information to them for clarity .
      Rest is fine brother .Keep writing ! It is always pleasing to read ur answer.They are lucid and insightful.

      • raju gogula

        Thank u buddy…ur review is encouraging and i always find ur answers enjoyable and very informative. In fact if i feel that u covered all points of a question i wouldn’t answer it..bcoz ur’s will b a reference for me…thanks again..all the best for u..keep writing and share ur views.


      good one……………

    • Deepak Kumar Pandit

      good answers but again word limit is problem

  • murari jha


  • abd

    states which are vital components of indian federation are beset with many inadequacies which hamper the realisation of potential of the states to the fullest.
    many states are lagging in developmental indicators because of various reasons like-
    1.financial constraints-paucity of funds
    2.Burden of centralised schemes robbing them of financial space along with resource crunch at ground level
    3.states being handicapped with various region specific problems like inter state river sharing
    4.limited space for innovative reforms in business,laws and schemes which force them to plead centre for funds,reforms in governance etc
    federal govt has addressed many of those problems through various progressive interventions among which-
    1.increase of tax sharing by 10% to 42% through 14th finance commission
    2.encouraging states to initiate reforms in various sectors,like labour reforms in rajasthan and madhya pradesh
    3.flexibility in implementing centrally sponsored schemes with states having more freddom for application of their wisdom
    4.institution of niti aayog as bulwark of cooperative federalism.
    apart from these inclusion of states in dealing with neighbouring countries ex-wb in bangladesh enclaves issue and maharashtra in business deals etc

  • Deepak Kumar Pandit

    Demands raised by states in the quest for greater autonomy are the Special category status in terms of nature especially Bihar, Odhisa states etc, well treatment under taxation revenue sharing, Autonomy in taking decisions independently, Cooperative federalism not in terms of talk rather in action too.
    Some of the measures taken by the union government recently are as followings-
    1. Implementation of 14th Finance commission report under which the Taxation revenue will increase from earlier 32% to 42% which was long term demand.
    2. In implementation of GST Bill, states are loosing money as central government decided to implement it from April 2016 where central government is giving compensation in the 100%, 75% & 50% in the next 3 years but states are asking for more particularly in 2nd & 3rd years of implementation as they are unable to generate revenues.
    3. Proper implementation of Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) and Central Sectoral Schemes with greater disbursement of money on time. currently the no. of CSS is 188 which government is planning to reduce 66 and later on to 25 in numbers to implement these programmes effectively.

  • adityaka

    The autonomy of the states with regards to the effective power they wield to carry out their respective electorates’ mandate depends upon financial autonomy and institutional autonomy

    Financial autonomy has been a contentious Centre-State relations issue. Until the acceptance of the 14th Finance Commission(FC) recommendations, the fiscal space of the states was dominated by planned transfers from the centre for the sake of the Centrally Sponsored Schemes. Furthermore, the institutional clash between the constitutional role of the Finance commission and the political role of the Planning commission decreased the financial autonomy which led the states to demand for increased unconditional transfers.

    Institutionally the planning process was centralised in the Planning commission. Even with the establishment of decentralised governance, effective planning was not decentralised. This led the Planning commission to suggest a ‘one size fits all’ solution for the varied problems of different states, diluting their institutional autonomy. Furthermore, constitutional positions, like that of the governor, were politicized and led to frequent friction in Centre-State relations. There was an increased demand for institutional autonomy as well.

    The government has accepted the recommendations of the 14th FC by devolving 42% of the Central divisible pool of taxes. This significantly increases share of unconditional transfer in the states’ share. Tax reforms to bring in the GST may, in the short term, effect the state taxes but in the long term it would be made up by increased collections. The state have rightly demanded for compensation for the first 5 years after the implementation of GST.

    The government has also made a move to decentralise the planning process by establishing the NITI Aayog. Although the working of the body still needs time to be commented upon the structure of the body ensures a considerable role for the states.

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