New Delhi, Jan 23 : The Thirteenth Finance Commission held its first meeting with economic experts and administrators of the country here today, and held wide ranging discussions on the review of the finances of the Centre and the States and measures for maintaining a stable and sustainable fiscal environment consistent with achieving equitable growth.
"The daylong discussions focussed on the terms of reference of the commission, its mandate, scope as well as suggestions for improving the fiances of Centre and States," said a government release, adding that the operations of the States' Debt Consolidation and Relief Facility introduced on the basis of the recommendations of the Twelfth Finance Commission were also discussed.
The present arrangements regarding financing of disaster management through the National Calamity Contingency Fund were also discussed.
The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Vijay Kelkar. The Members of the Commission, Indira Rajaraman, Atul Sarma and B.K. Chaturvedi had detailed discussions with eminent economists, including Amaresh Bagchi, M. Govinda Rao, Tapas Sen, Pratab Bhanu Mehta, Haseeb Drabu.
Professors and economists from University and reputed institutes, including The Energy and Research Institute (TERI), Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA) were also present during the meeting.
The thirteenth Finance Commission was constituted to give specific recommendations on the sharing of tax receipts between the Centre and States and also for outlining the principles for providing grants- in- aid to the States out of the Consolidated Fund of India.
The Commission will also suggest measures to augment the Consolidated Funds of the States to supplement the resources of the Panchayats and Municipalities.
The Finance Commission is expected to submit its final report by October 2009.