Special Correspondent

CHANDIGARH: The empowered committee of State Finance Ministers on Monday demanded that the Centre bear at least 50 per cent of the burden caused by the hike in salaries recommended by the sixth Pay Commission.

Talking to reporters at the two-day meeting of the committee here, Chairman Asim Dasgupta said while a representation to this effect had been made to the 13th Finance Commission, the matter would now be placed before Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram for an early settlement. He said the impact of the pay revision on the States was being worked out. Deliberating on the various issues discussed in the meeting, Mr. Dasgupta reiterated the demand for a debt relief package for the States. He also disclosed that the demand for 50 p.c. share for the States in Central taxes was also discussed. After the completion of forthcoming Assembly elections, Mr. Dasgupta said a special meeting of the Finance Ministers would be convened in Delhi by December-end.