FM Hints Centre Considering Statehood To J&K

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman – File Photo

Thiruvananthapuram- Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday hinted at the possibility of the Centre considering restoring state status to Jammu and Kashmir.

She dropped the hint while talking about the distribution of funds to the states by the Centre as per the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission.

Delivering a lecture on Centre-State relations here, Sitharaman said Prime Minister Narendra Modi without any hesitation had accepted the recommendation of 14th Finance Commission in 2014-15 that 42 per cent of all taxes– an increase from 32 per cent till then– should be given to the states.

“That Finance Commission said now you raise it to 42 per cent…which means that Centre will have a lesser amount in its hand. Prime Minister Modi, without a second thought about it, fully accepted the Finance Commission and that is why today states get 42 per cent of the amount–now reduced by 41 per cent because Jammu and Kashmir is no longer a state.

“It will soon become maybe sometime…,” Sitharaman said in her lecture on “Cooperative Federalism: The Path Towards Atma Nirbhar Bharat” organised here by Bharatiya Vichara Kendram in memory of Sangh idealogue P Parameshwaran.

In August 2019, the central government abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution, which accorded special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and bifurcated the state into Union territories.

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