Business Standard

Must decentralise power from states to local authorities: Ahluwalia

At Business Standard Manthan, Arvind Subramanian said that to reduce the gap, there needs to be a renegotiation of social contracts in agriculture and fiscal federalism

Montek Singh Ahluwalia, former Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission

Montek Singh Ahluwalia, former Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission

Raghav Aggarwal New Delhi

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On the path to making India a developed nation by 2047, there is a need to decentralise power further from states to more local authorities, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, former Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, said on Thursday.

At the Business Standard Manthan, Ahluwalia said, "The biggest failure of decentralisation in India is the failure of state governments to decentralise to a lower level of authorities."

He said that India needs to work on health and education to make India a developed nation.

"These are 100 per cent state subjects. Now the problem is that in the delivery of these services, is not at the state level. It's at the lower level," he said.

Ahluwalia also said that the debate should not be about Centre versus states but whether it is even a problem or not.

Arvind Subramanian, the former Chief Economic Advisor, pointed out that the gap in the relations between states and the Centre has widened since the high growth period of the 2000s.

He said that growth has led to divergent growth between the states and has ultimately turned the "amicable" into a "less amicable" union.

To reduce the gap, there needs to be a renegotiation of social contracts in agriculture and fiscal federalism.

"And it would require the restoration of trust between Centre and States," he said, adding that there is a need to focus on co-operative federalism as well as competitive federalism.

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First Published: Mar 28 2024 | 9:04 PM IST

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