13th Finance Commission meets members of previous Finance Commission

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New Delhi, May 2 (UNI) Members of the 13th Finance Commission met Chairmen and members of previous Finance Commissions here today at a meeting chaired by Dr Vijay Kelkar, Chairman of the 13th Finance Commission.

Members of the Commission B K Chaturvedi, Dr Indira Rajaraman, Prof Atul Sarma and Dr Sanjiv Misra were present. The previous Chairmen and members who attended included Mr KC Pant, Mr NKP Salve, Mr G Ramachandran, Mr VB Eswaran, Mr Debi Prosad Pal, Mr BPR Vithal, Mr Mahesh Prasad, Mr Som Pal, Mr Ch Hanumantha Rao, Mr JC Jetly, Mr TN Srivastava, Mr Arun Sinha and Mr Lal Thanhawla.

Today's meeting is the culmination of a series of regional and national consultative committee meetings held by the 13th Finance Commission since it was constituted in November 2007. The earlier meetings were held in Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Pune, Mumbai and Chandigarh and Shillong with economists and economic administrators, an official release here said.

The Commission will suggest measures to augment the Consolidated Funds of the States to supplement the resources of the Panchayats and Municipalities. It is expected to submit its final report by October 2009.

The body was constituted to give specific recommendations on the sharing of tax receipts between the Centre and States and also outlining the principles for providing grants-in-aid to the states out of the Consolidated Fund of India.

The discussions covered the terms of reference of the Commission, its mandate, scope as well as suggestions for improving the finances of Centre and States. All the speakers pointed out that the Constitutional provisions have always been the guiding force in the work of the Finance Commissions and the responsibility for implementing these provisions is the primary mandate.

Several suggestions were made on the approach and methodology to be followed by the Finance Commission during its deliberations.

These included modalities to be followed for the review of finances of the Centre and the States and adoption of measures for maintaining a stable and sustainable fiscal environment consistent with achieving equitable growth.

Speakers emphasised the need for the Commission to maintain balance between the needs of the Centre and the demands of the states in its work as also between growth and equity while paying attention to improving the quality of expenditure in a framework of enhanced governance.

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