15th Finance Commission to hold first meeting today
New Delhi: The newly constituted 15th Finance Commission will hold its first meeting on Monday after meeting finance minister Arun Jaitley.
However, an official of the commission speaking under condition of anonymity said it will be a courtesy call with Jaitley and the views of the finance ministry on the various terms of reference of the 15th Finance Commission will be sought separately. “A press statement will be issued after the commission’s meeting,” the official said.
Former revenue secretary N.K. Singh, who is also a member of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was last week named head of the commission, and its terms of reference have been notified by the Narendra Modi-led government.
Apart from Singh, members of the 15th Finance Commission include former economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das and adjunct professor at Georgetown University Anoop Singh. Bandhan Bank chairman and former chief economic adviser Ashok Lahiri and NITI Aayog member Ramesh Chand have been appointed part-time members. The 15th Finance Commission , whose recommendations will come into effect for the five years starting 1 April 2020 has been asked to submit its report by 30 October 2019.
The 14th Finance Commission, chaired by former Reserve Bank of India governor Y.V. Reddy, is considered to have fundamentally reset the centre-state fiscal relationship by raising the united share of states in net central taxes to 42% from 32% after ending discretionary resource transfers from the centre to the states.
Apart from performing its constitutionally mandated job of deciding on the distribution of shareable central tax proceeds among centre, states and local bodies for the first time in the post goods and services tax (GST) era, the 15th Finance Commission has been asked to recommend appropriate levels of general and consolidated government debt and deficit levels for the centre and states.
The 15th Finance Commission has also been asked to propose measurable performance-based incentives in areas such as efforts made by the states in expansion and deepening of the tax net under GST, and efforts and progress made in moving towards replacement rate of population growth, which refers to the total fertility rate that will result in a stable population without increasing or decreasing it.