The Fifteenth Finance Commission (XVFC) led by Chairman Sh N K Singh, today submitted its Report for the period 2021-22 to 2025-26 to the Hon’ble President of India. Members of the Commission, Shri Ajay Narayan Jha, Prof. Anoop Singh, Dr. Ashok Lahiri and Dr. Ramesh Chand along with Secretary to the Commission ShriArvind Mehta accompanied the Chairman.
As per the terms of reference (ToR), the Commission was mandated to give its recommendations for five years from 2021-22 to 2025-26 by 30 October, 2020. Last year, the Commission had submitted its report containing recommendations for the year 2020-21 which was accepted by the Union Government and tabled in the Parliament on 30 January 2020.
The Commission was asked to give its recommendations on many unique and wide-ranging issues in its terms of reference. Apart from the vertical and horizontal tax devolution, local government grants, disaster management grant, the Commission was also asked to examine and recommend performance incentives for States in many areas like power sector, adoption of DBT, solid waste management etc. The Commission was also asked to examine whether a separate mechanism for funding of defence and internal security ought to be set up and if so how such a mechanism could be operationalised. The Commission has sought to address all its ToRs in this Report to the Union government.
This Report has been organised in four volumes. Volume I and II, as in the past, contain the main report and the accompanying annexes. Volume III is devoted to the Union Government and examines key departments in greater depth, with the medium-term challenges and the roadmap ahead. Volume IV is entirely devoted to the States. The Commission has analysed the finances of each State in great depth and has come up with State-specific considerations to address the key challenges that individual States face.
The Report will be available in the public domain once it is tabled in the Parliament by the Union Government along with explanatory memorandum/action taken report on the recommendations contained in the Report. The cover and title of the Report are also unique in this Report- “Finance Commission in Covid Times” and the use of Scales on the cover to indicate the balance between the States and the Union.