People exersise outside the North Block of the Central Secretariat building which houses the Ministry of Finance (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

15th Finance Commission Forms Panel To Advise On Terms Of Reference

After continued criticism from several states and union territories on its Terms of Reference, the 15th Finance Commission today set up a panel that would advise it on related matters.

The panel will advise the Commission headed by former bureaucrat NK Singh on matters related to the Terms of Reference and assist in research study, the finance ministry said in a statement. It will also help the Commission to understand national and international best practices on devolution of taxes and improve enforcement of its recommendations.

Members of the panel include:

  • Arvind Virmani, former Chief Economic Advisor
  • Surjit Bhalla, part-time member, Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council
  • Sanjeev Gupta, a former IMF deputy director
  • Pinaki Chakraborty, professor at NIPFP
  • Sajjid Chinoy, chief India Economist at JPMorgan
  • Neelkanth Mishra, India equity strategist at Credit Suisse

Six states and union territories, including Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Delhi, Punjab, Kerala and Puducherry, had opposed the use of 2011 census data for devolution of taxes between the Centre and states – part of the current Terms of Reference of the Commission. Finance and chief ministers of these states said the move will “penalise" progressive states instead of incentivising them for population control measures undertaken over the years.

Also read: Six States Oppose Terms Of Reference Of 15th Finance Commission

"The use of population from census 2011 by 15th Finance Commission with a greater weight for determining the allocation of funds to the states would cause great injustice to the states. This approach would penalise states which have shown declining fertility rates and lower population growth over the past four decades”, Andhra Pradesh Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu had said after some states met on Monday to discuss the matter.