Talks around ‘south’ getting into dangerous threshold: FM

She says Centre has no role to play except for obeying the Finance Commission, and the States must sit with the commission and highlight their demands

February 29, 2024 12:56 am | Updated 12:56 am IST - Bengaluru

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman with school students during the ‘Bhoomi Pujan’ and foundation stone laying ceremony of residential complex ‘Hongirana’ for the Income Tax officers and staffers, in Bengaluru, Wednesday

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman with school students during the ‘Bhoomi Pujan’ and foundation stone laying ceremony of residential complex ‘Hongirana’ for the Income Tax officers and staffers, in Bengaluru, Wednesday | Photo Credit: PTI

Each one of the southern States has its strengths, and it is now getting into a dangerous threshold of “Southern States together”, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman here on Wednesday.

Participating in an interaction, she said, ‘‘Each southern State has its strengths, and it’s also now getting into that very dangerous threshold of ‘southern States together’,” she said, lambasting Congress MP D.K. Suresh’s recent statement on South India as a “separate nation” during a discussion on devolution of taxes.

The Bengaluru Rural MP had earlier said the southern States would be forced to demand a separate nation if the “injustice” in the release of central grants was not addressed.

She elaborated that the Centre had no role to play except for obeying the Finance Commission, and the States must sit with the commission and highlight their demands and speak about their weightage that would eventually help them get the grants. ‘’If the Finance Commissioner tells me you give this much per month, I have to do it,” the Finance Minister explained.

Quarters for I-T staff in City

Earlier, speaking at the foundation stone laying ceremony for the proposed “Hongirana”, a building for Income Tax officers and staff, Ms. Sitharaman said 64 apartments would come up in the 35,000 sq.ft. with eight floors at a cost of ₹ 41.78 crore.

The building would have environment-friendly features such as green compliance required for sustainable building, provisions for solar energy and rainwater harvesting.

“My priority is that field formations should have accommodation closer to the workplace, with the attendant facilities such as schools, hospitals in the vicinity and transportation,’‘ she added. Complementing taxpayers in the city, she said they were giving buoyancy to the economy and were contributing towards building a strong Viksit Bharat.

During the event, she also presented the Chandrayan Model to two students each from 10 Kendriya Vidyalayas and State government schools.

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