Marxists dub governing system in country as over-centralised

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New Delhi, Nov 5 (UNI) Dubbing the governing structure in the country as "over-centralised," the CPI(M) today demanded more powers to the States for evolving a truly federal system to meet the aspirations of the people who are governed through state governments.

The party also demanded Parliamentary approval of all international treaties, adding all such treaties which impacted states should also be approved by the Inter-State Council.

Having submitted a 40-page memorandum to Justice M M Punchhi Commission on Centre-State relations set up in April, the party sought amendment in Articles 356 and 355 to incorporate safeguards to prevent their misuse.

The Centre can impose the President's rule under Article 356, while under Article 355 it can send an advisory to a state government, cautioning it to function within the parameters of the Constitution.

Party general secretary Prakash Karat said Article 356 should be used only when there is threat to national security or to the secular fabric of the nation. He did not agree with a suggestion to impose the President's rule in Orissa which was shaken by anti-Christian violence recently.

Also demanding change in the procedure for appointment of Governors, the party said the President should appoint the Governor from a panel of three people suggested by state Chief Minister.

The CPI(M) demanded that residuary powers of legislation should be placed in the State list and the process of consultation between Centre and States on legislations under the concurrent list institutionalised.

Fifty per cent of total taxes collected by the Centre should be transferred to States, the memorandum said.

Lamenting that the Inter-State Council has not met since 1990, the CPI(M) sought amendment of the Constitution to make the Council's decisions binding on the Central government.

Demanding superamacy for National Development Council by making it a Constitutional body, the party said Planning Commission should act as its executive wing and not usurp the role of NDC which is the right body for allocation of Central resources.

Taking exception to the terms and reference of the Commission, Mr Karat said these were more concerned with the powers of the Centre than the States.

The Punchhi Commission, set up two decades after the Sarkaria Commission, has been tasked with reviewing the entire gamut of issues.

As per the terms of reference, the Commission will examine and review the existing arrangements between the Union and the states.

It will look into powers and functions of legislative relations, role of Governors, emergency provisions, financial relations and sharing of resources.

While making the recommendations, the role of the Centre and its jurisdiction will also be taken into account vis-a-vis outbreaks of communal violence, caste violence and social conflict.

UNI KSA-SAA RP HS1813

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