New Delhi, Jun 24: The 15th Finance Commission on Monday met the Karnataka officials and was apprised of large infrastructure gaps and widening democratic deficit.
During the meet with economists, the Commission, headed by Chairman N K Singh, discussed the issues of incentivising states on various performance indicators and Karnataka’s good fiscal performance among others.
In the area of democratic decentralization, in which Karnataka is a pioneer, various recent studies and trends related to third tier of government were also taken up.
Experts raised concerns regarding large infrastructure gaps and democratic deficit which persists.With regards to urban local bodies, special attention was drawn towards increasing fiscal need due to rapid urbanization, suggestion related to better revenue collection and some measures to improve land management were given to the Commission.
Experts also raised the issue of use of population data of census 2011 by the Commission. Most of the Experts were of the opinion that latest population data must be used as that represents the present needs of the states. However, incentives should be designed for States which have done better population control.
The Commission also met Nandan Nilekani, former Chairman of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), Sanjay Jain – Eminent product management expert with experience in Google, Aadhaar, etc., former members of the RBI Committee on payments among others.
The panel discussed the possibilities of extending the Direct Benefit Transfer Technology to electricity subsidies and possibly water subsidies as well. Discussions were also focused on digitization of Stamp Duty, other Digital Payments, building of digital infrastructure, use of Artificial Intelligence for development and reduce the technology gap amongst States so as to make the process of digitization successful.
The Commission also met the representatives of Urban Local Bodies and Panchayati Raj Institutions.