Be wary of the non-demographer’s misconceptions on population and devolution of taxes

The differences in the size and share of population across States in India in 2011 as against that in 1971 have raised widespread apprehension regarding the disadvantage of States that have performed better in population stabilisation efforts while working out their share of funds. Such apprehension sounds premature because the allocation of resources should necessarily recognise the needs of a State based not merely on the count of its people but also on the composition that may be varied depending on the stages of demographic transition that it has experienced over the last 40 years.

Whether it be population size or its share, the mutual distance between States has become larger since 1971. Also, a particular demographic divide has been observed between States with an attained replacement level of fertility and those yet to attain the same. Hence, raw population size or share being considered in determining the allocation of funds will make those States with moderate or low population stabilisation efforts winners, while those States that have done extremely well in achieving the national goals set in the Five-Year Plans to reach replacement level of fertility will be losers.

Source  : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-opinion/no-easy-head- counts/article24576870.ece

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