7th schedule of Indian Constitution
- Article 246 of the Indian Constitution adopts a threefold distribution of legislative power between the Union and the states.
- The subject-wise distribution of this power is given in the three lists of the Seventh Schedule of the constitution – Union (List I), state (List II) and concurrent (List III).
- While the Centre can make laws on subjects specified in the Union list, the state governments have jurisdiction over items in the state list.
- Both the Centre and states can make laws for subjects in the concurrent list, but the Union’s law will prevail in case of conflict.
Why in News?
- Finance commission chairman N K Singh recently underlined the need for revisiting the seventh schedule of the Constitution, in view of changes in technology and national priorities.
- He suggested the constitution of a high-powered committee of domain experts. They must recognise the contemporary context of technology, global interdependence and changes in our national priorities.
Commission on Centre-State Relations
- Mr. Singh said the Commission on Centre-State Relations, headed by Justice M M Punchhi, had in 2010 recommended that there should be a consultation process between the Union and states via an Interstate Council for legislation on concurrent subjects.
- It was of the opinion that the Union should only transfer those subjects into the concurrent list which were central to achieving demonstrable national interest.
Aligning fiscal consolidation roadmap
- Mr. Singh further said the Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) should be flexible enough to allow states to adapt and innovate. He also called for a far more credible policy for rationalisation of CSS and Central outlays than have been possible so far.
- He added that there was a need for continuity on aligning the fiscal consolidation roadmap of the Centre and states in a more harmonious symmetry.
New forum for consultative dialogue
- He also talked about the need for another forum for ongoing consultative dialogue after the abolition of the Planning Commission.
- With the abolition of the Planning Commission, many economists and policymakers have argued about an institutional vacuum. While the National Development Council (NDC) is performing an important function, the states have pleaded for a credible institution acting as a link for a policy dialogue with the Centre.