The Telegraph
Thursday , January 3 , 2013
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Reddy to lead finance panel

New Delhi, Jan. 2: The government today set up the 14th Finance Commission under the leadership of former Reserve Bank governor Y.V. Reddy.

The finance commission, a constitutional body set up every five years, will recommend on the sharing of central taxes with states and grants for states and local bodies for the five-year period beginning April 1, 2014. Apart from these, the commission will address contemporary economic challenges.

While announcing the formation of the commission, finance minister P. Chidambaram said it would also look into the “need for insulating the pricing of public utility services such as drinking water, irrigation, power and public transport from policy fluctuations through statutory provisions”.

The commission may revisit the criteria for according special category status to states, though it is not specifically tasked to do so.

“The existing criteria (for according special category status to states) was formulated some time ago. And perhaps it is time to revisit the criteria,” Chidambaram said when asked about the demand of special status by Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar.

Besides Reddy, other members of the commission include former finance secretary Sushma Nath, NIPFP director M. Govinda Rao, Planning Commission member Abhijit Sen and former acting chairman of National Statistical Commission Sudipto Mundle.