Finance Commission – Issues related to devolution of resources

N.K. Singh calls for a fresh look at the Seventh Schedule


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: 7th Schedule

Mains level: Federalism issue raised by the Agricultural Bills

Fifteenth Finance Commission chairman N.K. Singh has called for a fresh look at the Constitution’s Seventh Schedule, which forms the basis for allocating subjects to the Centre and States.

Try this PYQ:

Q.Which of the following provisions of the Constitution of India have a bearing on Education?

  1. Directive Principles of State Policy
  2. Rural and Urban Local Bodies
  3. Fifth Schedule
  4. Sixth Schedule
  5. Seventh Schedule

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 3, 4 and 5 only

(c) 1, 2 and 5 only

(d) 1, 2, 3 4 and 5

Why such calls by Mr NKS?

  • Singh said these issues needed urgent consideration to reinforce trust in fiscal federalism.
  • He urged a review of both the Seventh Schedule and Article 282 of the Constitution so as to give more flexibility to States in implementing centrally sponsored schemes.
  • Many have argued that the trust between various forms of government is waning.
  • Since the farmers’ agitation, these are seen through the prism of suspicion and mistrust.

Q. The federal organisation of powers under the Constitution’s Seventh Schedule needs review. In light of this, examine the problems faced by the distribution and suggest the challenge the review would face.

What is the Seventh Schedule?

  • This Schedule of the Indian Constitution deals with the division of powers between the Union government and State governments.
  • It defines and specifies the allocation of powers and functions between Union & States. It contains three lists; i.e. 1) Union List, 2) State List and 3) Concurrent List.

The Union List

  • It is a list of 98 (Originally 97) numbered items as provided in the Seventh Schedule.
  • The Union Government or Parliament of India has exclusive power to legislate on matters relating to these items.

The State List

  • It is a list of 59 (Originally 66) items.
  • The respective state governments have exclusive power to legislate on matters relating to these items.

The Concurrent List

  • There are 52 (Originally 47) items currently in the list.
  • This includes items which are under the joint domain of the Union as well as the respective States.

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