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Retribution for the south, accolade for the north

  • Published
    5th Oct, 2023

Context:

Since decades, almost all the Southern states have managed their population well for development and growth. However, they should not lose political power due to reduced representation.

Population Control and Political Representation

  • Southern States' Achievement: Southern Indian states effectively controlled their population through social development and economic growth.
  • Political Significance: Population size plays a crucial role in political representation, affecting the distribution of Lok Sabha
  • Imbalance in Representation: If constituencies are equalized by population today, southern states will lose seats while northern states will gain.

Role of Population in Fiscal Transfers

  • Finance Commission's Formula: Population and per capita income are key factors in determining state shares of Union tax revenue.
  • Historical Practice: Southern states were rewarded for controlling population until the Fifteenth Finance Commission shifted focus to populous states.
  • Impact on Revenue: Southern states faced reduced financial transfers, while northern states gained from current population-based distribution.

Consequences of Population-Based Policies

  • Transparent Retribution: Using current population for delimitation and revenue distribution is seen as retribution against southern states' population control efforts.
  • Northern States' Growth: Northern states benefited from higher population growth, leading to a transparent reward for their demographic trends.
  • Impact on Governance: The shift in population-based policies has significant implications for governance and resource allocation.
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