National Affairs

15th Finance Commission Set To Submit Report On 9 November To President

The Fifteenth Finance Commission has completed its report for the award period 2021-22 to 2025-26. The report will be submitted to President Ram Nath Kovind on November 9, as per an official statement. The Commission, headed by Chairman NK Singh, will also present a copy to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The Finance Commission (15th FC) in its report for 2020-21, had recommended a marginal reduction in vertical devolution of the divisible tax pool to 41 percent from 42 percent, primarily due to the then newly formed union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh getting funds out of the centre’s share and devolution being for 28 states compared to 29 earlier. The centre had accepted the Commission’s recommendations. With the global and Indian economy severely hit due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 15th FC has had to pretty much start from scratch, as none of the recommendations of the first report can be carried forward to the second report. There have been discussions fundamentally revisit the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, under which the centre gives a single number as the fiscal deficit target as percentage of nominal gross domestic product. The target for 2020-21 is 3.5 per cent of GDP. The Commission’s recommendations will reflect in the Modi government’s 2021-22 Union Budget. The Finance Minister is likely to table the Commission’s report, and an action taken report signifying which recommendations of the Commission have been accepted, along with the budget documents on February 1.

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