New Delhi, Sep 8 : The 15th Finance Commission held a meeting on Sunday with economists in Jaipur in coordination with the Rajasthan Government and CUTS International.
Many issues pertinent to fiscal devolution and issues specific to improving the economic growth of Rajasthan have been discussed in the meeting. The issue of deficit management of governments was taken up during the meeting. According to them, the matter needs to be carefully handled with full recognition of contingent liabilities. At the same time, considering the investment requirements of the Indian economy, it is also important to ensure that future fiscal policy crowds in private investment.
They also discussed corrections attempted in the power distribution sector in terms of UDAY scheme affected the deficit position of the state government considerably. Going forward, the assessment of the expenditure and revenue deficit of the state should take this into account. Water availability and distribution is one of the most important concerns for the state. In Rajasthan, water supply at the village level is extremely expensive. This gives rise to concerns about sustainability of water supply programmes.
They have also taken up special issues concerning Rajasthan such as future fiscal allocations that may give special consideration to the difficulties in managing the cost of implementing programmes in deserts. The Finance Commission may also think of making allocations that incentivise water use efficiency. A number of other issues relating to the terms of reference of the Commission were also discussed.
The economists who were present at the interaction with chairman N K Singh include Ambuj Kishore, Dr Arvind Mayaram, IAS (retd), Atul Sharma, Basantt Khaitan, Prof C S Barla, Divya Maderna, Edward Dickinson, Govind Sharma, IAS (retd), Gyan Prakash, Dr Jyoti Kiran, Prof Kanta Ahuja, Krishna Bhatnagar, IAS (retd), Dr Manjit Singh, IAS (Retd), Mukesh Gupta, Dr M S Rathore, Prof N D Mathur, Prof Ramesh Kumar Arora, Prof Rajesh Kothari, Dr Rashmi Dickinson, Rajendra Bhanawat IAS (Retd), Rakesh Verma IAS (Retd), Rao Rajendra Singh, Amb Satish C Mehta, IFS (Retd), Prof S S Somra, Amb Savitri Kunadi (Retd), S S Bhandari and Dr Vinayak Pandey.
The Commission also met officials of Rajasthan panchayati raj institutions and urban local bodies. (UNI)