DMPQ-Concurrent list in the constitution is source of tension between Centre and state. Comment

The essence of federalism lies in the sharing of legal sovereignty by the union and the federation units. This separation of power is done through list system enshrined in 7th schedule of the constitution. There are Union list ( Centre law making zone), State list ( state law making zone), Concurrent list ( both can make laws).

But after independence the issue of concurrent list is on rise and its area of operation. Some states are demanding the complete scrapping of the list like Telangana CM demanded. Some want more power and autonomy by reducing the items in the concurrent list. On the other hand Centre wants to have law making power on some state list subjects and they want them in concurrent list.

The major issues can be enumerated as follows:

  • Centralisation of power as the domain of union and concurrent list has increased while the reversed is the trend for state list.
  • Micro management of scheme is against the spirit of federalism. Example asking state governments to focus on Primary schools. Instead this decision has to be taken by state. Fund should be allocated to sector like health , education and the its implementation should be left to state to decide. One size fits all does not augur well for our federalism because of socio-cultural-geo diversity.
  • Principle of repugnancy is also criticised for being in favour of the centre. In case of differences between centre and state on the laws make on concurrent list , Centre law prevails except the condition where President by his directives give supremacy to state law.
  • Central schemes and programmes added for responsibility to the state. It puts burden on states to create infrastructure for implementation which is another pressure on state exchequer.


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