Rajamannar Committee On Centre-State Relation

In 1969, the Tamil Nadu Government (DMK) appointed a three-member committee under the chairmanship of Dr. P V Rajamannar to examine the entire question of Centre-state relations and to suggest amendments to the Constitution so as to secure utmost autonomy to the states, The committee submitted its report to the Tamil Nadu Government in 1971.

The Committee identified the reasons for the prevailing unitary trends (tendencies of centralisation) in the country.

They include (1) certain provisions in the Constitution which confer special powers on the Centre; (ii) one-party rule both at the Centre and in the states; (iii) inadequacy of states’ fiscal resources and consequent dependence on the Centre for financial assistance; and (iv) the institution of Central planning and the role of the Planning Commission.

The important recommendations of the committee are as follows:

(i) An Inter-State Council should be set up immediately;

(ii) the Finance Commission should be made a permanent body;

(iii) the Planning Commission should be disbanded and its place should be taken by a statutory body;

(iv) Articles 356, 357 and 365 (dealing with President’s Rule) should be totally omitted;

(v) The provision that the state ministry holds office during the pleasure of the governor should be omitted;

(vi) Certain subjects of the Union List and the Concurrent List should be transferred to the State List;

(vii) the residuary powers should be allocated to the states; and

(viii) All-India services (IAS, IPS and IFS) should be abolished.

The Central government completely ignored the recommendations of the Rajamannar Committee.

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