The UPA government has constituted a 4-member Commission on Centre-State relations on Friday. Earlier, the government had set up Sarkaria commission some two decades ago on the Centre-State relations. Former Chief Justice of India, M M Punchhi, will be the chairman of the new commission.
The Commission would be assigned the work to look into the different issues of Centre-State relations. It would examine the sea changes taken place after the formation of the Sarkaria Commission to develop the relation of center with states to strengthen the quasi-federal character of Indian federalism.
Besides Punchhi, the Commission will have the other members such as Dhirendra Singh and V K Duggal, both former Union Home Secretaires, and N R Madhava Menon, former Director of National Judicial Academy.
The commission will have two-year time to submit the recommendations for strengthening the Centre-State relations in the country. There are some areas that need to get better concentration from the central government such as need to set up a central law enforcement agency.
The agency would be able to take suo motu investigation of crimes linked with inter-state or international ramifications. Sometimes, these cases have serious implications on national security and it needs more concentration from the government.
The new commission would look into the role, responsibility and jurisdiction of the Centre and States for promoting effectual decentralization of powers and autonomy to Panchayati Raj Institutions and Local Bodies and the use of Article 355.
There is a need to examine the impact of the previous recommendations on the fiscal and trade relations between the Centre and the States that were given by the 8th finance commissions to 12th Commissions.
According to the report, the Commission would also scrutinize the role of governors, the use of emergency provisions, financial relations, impact of economic and social planning, the functioning of panchayati raj institutions and the most importantly the sharing of resources between the states, including inter-state river water.