11th Standing Committee meeting of Inter-State Council

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  • The Union Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh chaired the 11th Standing Committee meeting of the Inter-State Council.

Only Take out from PIB:

The Punchhi Commission notified in 2005, submitted its report in 2010. The recommendations of the Punchhi Commission, which are contained in seven Volumes pertain to History of Centre-State Relations in India;

  • Constitutional Governance and Management of Centre-State Relations;
  • Centre-State Financial Relations and Planning;
  • Local Self-Governments and Decentralized Governance;
  • Internal Security, Criminal Justice and Centre State Co-operation;
  • Environment, Natural Resources & Infrastructure; and
  • Socio-Economic Development, Public Policy and Good Governance.

The Standing Committee examined in detail various recommendations of the Punchhi Commission contained in Volume II & III.

The Volume II of the report is related to provisions of the Constitution that are concerned with important aspects of Constitutional governance such as

  • role of Governors,
  • deployment of Central forces,
  • federal balance of power,
  • ensuring better coordination between Centre and States and
  • other important issues of Centre-State relations.

The recommendations in Volume III of the Punchhi Commission report are related to

  • Centre-State financial relations and cover the subjects of (a) fiscal transfers to states (b) Goods and Services Tax and (c) the Centre-State fiscal relations.

The discussions centred around various aspects of Centre-State relations having implications for governance and flowing from Constitutional provisions.

  • The remaining volumes of the Punchhi Commission recommendations will be taken up in subsequent meetings of the Standing Committee along with the implications of the recent developments in terms of the GST Act, the 14th Finance Commission Report and formation of NITI AAYOG, rationalisation of Centrally sponsored schemes etc.

All about Inter-State Council:

  • Section 135 of the Govt. of India Act, 1935 provided for establishment of Inter-Provincial Council with duties identical with those of the Inter-State Council as stipulated under article 263 of the Constitution.
  • At the time of framing of section 135 of the Government of India Act, 1935, it was felt that “if departments or institutions of coordination and research are to be maintained at the Centre in such matters as Agriculture, Forestry, Irrigation, Education and Public Health and if such institutions are to be able to rely on appropriations of public funds sufficient to enable them to carry on their work, the joint interest of Provincial Governments in them must be expressed in some regular and recognized machinery of Inter-Governmental consultations.”
  • It was also intended that the said Council should be set up as soon as the Provincial autonomy provisions of Government of India Act, 1935 came into operation.
  • The said Council was envisaged to be advisory for facilitating Inter-Provincial cooperation. Since the plea of federation itself was not given effect to by the then Government, no such Council was established.

ARTICLE 263

  • Article 263 of the Constitution of India provides as under: –
  • “If at any time it appears to the President that the public interest would be served by the establishment of a Council charged with the duty of –
  1. Inquiring into and advising upon disputes which may have arisen
  • between States;
  1. Investigating and discussing subjects in which some or all of the States,
  • or the Union and one or more of the States, have a common interest; or
  1. Making recommendations upon any such subject and in particular, recommendations for the better co-ordination of policy and action with respect to that subject,
  • it shall be lawful for the President by order to establish such a Council, and to define the nature of the duties to be performed by it and its organization and procedure.”
  • Based on the recommendations of the Sarkaria Commission, Inter-State Council has been set up on 28th May 1990 under article 263 of the Constitution for co-ordination of Inter-State matters.
  • The Inter-State Council Secretariat headed by the Secretary to the Govt. of India, services the Inter-State Council & its Standing Committees.
  • In addtion, Inter-State Council Secretariat also is the Secretariat for Commission for Centre-State Relations. Secretary, Inter-State Council is the Member-Secretary of Inter-State Council and Commission for Centre-State Relations.