Members of the 15th Finance Commission led by its Chairman, Shri N.K. Singh along with President Ram Nath Kovind (Source: Twitter/@rashtrapatibhvn)
Contrary to the expectations of certain quarters, the controversial terms of reference (ToR) of the 15th Finance Commission might actually favour the southern states.
One of the ToR refers to shifting of population census to 2011 from 1971 for the purpose of devolution. There are fears among many, including the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), that this will go against the southern states, which have controlled population growth more effectively than others.
However, sources said there was another ToR that asks the commission to take into account the states' performance towards the replacement rate of population growth, which would help these states. Replacement rate keeps the population at the same level from generation to generation. Also, in a first, the commission will define what a populist measure is and recommend incentives for states that do not resort to them.