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15th Finance Commission submits report to President Kovind, States’ uniques requirements considered

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N K Singh

The 15th Finance Commission headed by N K Singh submitted its report for the five-year period of 2021-22 to 2025-26 to President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday, November 9. The commission enunciated that its report titled ‘Finance Commission in Covid Times’ has taken into consideration the unique requirements of each of the States and come up with State-specific recommendations.

Besides the transference of funds between the Centre and the States for the period 2021-22 to 2025-26, which is the core task of the Finance Commission, it has addressed all its unique terms of reference such as considering a new non-lapsable fund for financing national security and defence expenditure and offering incentives for States’ performance that deliver on reforms.

In addition to the main report, the Commission has presented two more volumes as part of its submissions. The first of additional submissions focus on the State of the Union government’s finances, with a detailed examination of key departments, the medium-term challenges that the union government is facing and the way forward. However, the other submission was completely dedicated to States, with in-depth scrutiny of the finances of each of the states.

The Finance Commission panel that includes the Chairman N K Singh and members Ajay Narayan Jha, Anoop Singh, Ashok Lahiri and Ramesh Chand is expected to present the report to Prime Minister Narendra Modi soon. The report will be out in the public domain once it is tabled in the Parliament by the Government of India along with an action taken report on its recommendations.

The Commission has to originally consider recommendations for the period 2020-21 to 2024-2025, however, it had submitted an interim report for 2020-21 last year, emphasising that it was hard to project or estimate for five years when the economy slumps after structural reforms like Goods & Service Tax (GST) and the insolvency code.

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