ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Sixteenth Finance Commission

Instead of a fixed vertical share for the entire award period, an upward revision of vertical devolution to the states as and when there is an increase in cess and surcharges by the union government should be considered. It is also worth considering the creation of a horizontal equity stabilisation fund to be distributed as grants under Article 275 to those states that witness a significant fall in horizontal share as compared to the award of the previous finance commission.

Fifteenth Finance Commission Award for 2020–21

The first report of the Fifteenth Finance Commission has allayed many fears that arose after the notification of the terms of reference of the commission. The main report for the period 2021–22 to 2025–26 will have to factor in the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the economy and provide adequate fiscal space to the states for socio-economic response and recovery.

Challenges to Indian Fiscal Federalism

The state of cooperative federalism in India is analysed by focusing on the trends in vertical fiscal imbalances between the centre and the states, the impact of Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management acts on the fiscal space of the states, the implications of the Terms of Reference of the Fifteenth Finance Commission, and the need for empowering local governments in the context of centre–state relations.

Impact of Demonetisation in Kerala

The report by the committee constituted by the Kerala State Planning Board to study the impact of demonetisation clearly delineates its effects on state revenues, capacity of the government to intervene in the social sector, and the hardship faced by the cooperatives and the traditional and service sectors.

India's Growth Story

EPW has published an interesting article by R Nagaraj (“India’s Dream Run, 2003-08”, 18 May 2013) and a very incisive editorial (“The Faltering Economy”, 15 June 2013).

On Finance Commissions - I

This is with reference to your editorial on the terms of reference of the Fourteenth Finance Commission (“A Burdensome Agenda for the Fourteenth Finance Commission”, EPW, 26 January 2013).

More on the Indian State

I have a few points on the interesting article “Conscience of the Constitution and Violence of the Indian State” by Anand Chakravarty (EPW, 1 December 2012).

Kerala Elections

With reference to the article “Mystery of the Kerala Poll Results” (EPW, 28 May), it needs to be pointed out at the outset that the statement “Never before has a ministry taken office with such a slender majority” is factually incorrect.

Twelfth Finance Commission

The focus of the paper is to review the Terms of Reference (TOR) of the Twelfth Finance Commission with special reference to Kerala. It also critically examines the emphasis on fiscal deficit reduction without paying attention to its quality and finds that this has led to the centre and the states resorting to a softer option of cutting productive capital and necessary maintenance and social sector expenditure. This is likely to have adverse consequences on equitable growth and to impede the process of relieving the economy of structural constraints on growth. The study suggests incorporating the concept of quality of fiscal discipline.

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