Fifteenth Finance Commission to Discuss GST Issues Today

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New Delhi : The newly empanelled 15th Finance Commission will have their first round of deliberations on Monday after meeting finance minister Arun Jaitley.

“Only once the meetings are held we can talk in details on what are the pointers we will be working on. This is the first commission after the planning commission was done away with. We have two years to submit the reports. There are matters such as the goods and services tax (GST) to be discussed. We need to meet every state head and all other respective stake holders. I cannot speak for the entire commission but it would have been better if we had three years to submit the report. However, we will do the required within the stipulated time,” said an official of the finance commission who did not want to be named.

The commission will submit its report towards the end of 2019 as indicated by a member of the panel on conditions of anonymity.

“A press release will be issued after the commission’s meeting,” the official added.

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The 15th Finance Commission’s recommendations will come into effect for the five years starting 1 April 2020 and ending March 2025.

Former revenue secretary N.K. Singh, also a member of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is heading the commission.

Other members of the 15th Finance Commission include former economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das and adjunct professor at Georgetown University Anoop Singh. Bandhan Bank chairman and former chief economic adviser Ashok Lahiri and NITI Aayog member Ramesh Chand have been appointed part-time members.

The 14th Finance Commission, chaired by former Reserve Bank of India governor Y.V. Reddy, had raised the combined share of states in net central taxes to 42% from 32% after ending discretionary resource transfers from the centre to the states. The preceding commissions recommendations stand till March 2020.

Apart from performing its constitutionally mandated job of deciding on the distribution of shareable central tax proceeds among centre, states and local bodies for the first time in the post GST era, the 15th Finance Commission has been asked to recommend appropriate levels of general and consolidated government debt and deficit levels for the centre and states.

Source : News 18

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