Kerala CM accuses Centre of encroaching upon powers of states

Thiruvananthapuram: Accusing the Centre of continuously encroaching upon the powers of the states, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday said the development and welfare activities undertaken by the states were affected due to the union government limiting their rights over the country's general economic resources.

The chief minister, while addressing the MPs from the state in the run-up to the the winter session of Parliament, claimed that the states ruled by the BJP have complaints on such matters.

"Centre is continuously encroaching upon the powers of the states. It does not consider the interests of the state. The Centre also limits the right of the states to the general economic resources of the country, hindering their development and welfare activities. Even states ruled by the Centre's ruling party are raising such issues," Pinarayi Vijayan said.

Urging MPs to intervene in such a way that the development and welfare activities of the state can be carried forward in a good manner, the Chief Minister claimed that the Union Government took the responsibility of GST arrears and vaccination as a result of "our joint efforts" and accused the Centre of not considering the interest of Kerala on the issue of food grains, rubber price, coastal protection and expatriate rehabilitation -- the areas directly responsible to the Centre.

He said the states should be provided with GST compensation after July 2022 and for the next five years.

Pinarayi Vijayan also urged the MPs to intervene to get Kerala the Rs 2,412 crore as Sectoral Specific Grant and Rs 1,100 crore as State Specific Grant recommended by the 15th Finance Commission.

He said the co-operation of the Centre and the state in development activities, especially in the field of infrastructure, is very important.

"There is cooperation in some areas. The MPs should try to expand it", Kerala CM said and sought the support of MPs for pushing the state government's ambitious highspeed Silverline rail project connecting Kasaragod and Thiruvananthapuram.

Claiming it was an important indispensable project for the future of the state, the CM said the doubts of some people regarding the project, which will play an important role in the development of the state, will be removed.

The Congress-led opposition has termed as "unscientific and impractical" the project and said it will put a huge financial burden of around Rs 1.24 lakh crores on the state.

The project is expected to reduce travel time from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod to around four hours. PTI

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