Articles 256 to 263 seek to regulate administrative relations between the Union and the States. It is common in federal systems that the administrative relations between the Union and the States are fraught with difficulties. The Constitution of India seeks to achieve a smooth working relationship between the two levels. It provides that the executive powers of the State Government are to be exercised in such a way as to ensure compliance with the laws made by parliament.
The Union Executive is also empowered to give such directions to a State as may appear to the Government of India to be necessary for the purpose. Article 257 similarly provides that the executive power of every State shall be so exercised as not to impede the exercise of the executive power of the Union and the Union may issue necessary directions in that regard and for protection of railways and maintenance of means of communication of national or military importance. Any extra expenditure incurred by the State for. the purpose of fulfilling Central directives is to be reimbursed by the Centre to the State.
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The provision in Article 261, directing that full faith and credit shall be given to public acts, records and judicial proceedings of the Union and the States in all parts of the Indian territory, adds a lot to the smooth working of Union-State relations. Parliamentary control over Inter-State rivers and provisions for adjudication of any Inter-State rivers and provisions for adjudication of any InterState water disputes have taken away a whole host of possibilities of friction between Union and States and between States themselves (article,262).
In fact, the Constitution-makers did not want anything to be left to chance; hence the arrangements for inter-State Councils. Article 263 empowers the President to establish an Inter-State Council to enquire into and advise upon interState disputes and matters of common interest between States or between the Union and the States and make recommendations for better coordination of policy and action. Under Article 258, the President may with the consent of a State Government entrust to that Government or its officers functions in relation to any matter to which the executive power of the Union extends.
Similarly, under article 258 A the Governor of a State may with the consent of the Union Government entrust to that Government or to its officer’s functions in relation to any matter to which the executive power of the State extends to be Financial Relations: In regard to the financial relations between the Union and the States too, one can find the general tendency of Indian federalism for centralization.
The Union may be said to be financial. more powerful but given the nature of the country’s needs for growth through a planned economy this may be not only very desirable but entirely necessary. The States, however, have their own resources; the Union provides substantial amounts to the States by way of grants-in-aid. share proceeds of certain taxes, etc. The provision for the appointment of a Finance Commission every five years to examine the distribution of tax proceeds between the Union and States and to determine the principles which should govern the grants-in-aid is an innovation of the Indian Constitution and has contributed to the generally smooth financial relationship between the Union and the States.
Check out the notes for Issues In Centre-State Relations.