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Semir on new regime fiscal federalism held

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  31 March 2017 12:00 AM GMT

Guwahati, March 30: A two-day semir on the theme, “Towards a New Regime of Fiscal Federalism in India: Implications of the Fourteenth Fince Commission” was organized by Omeo Kumar Das Institute of Social Change and Development on Tuesday and Wednesday, a press release said.

Apart from some interesting presentations on the theme by scholars from renowned institutions of the country, two lectures were organized as part of the semir.

The key note lecture was delivered by Piki Chakravarty, Economic Adviser, 14th Fince Commission. His speech mainly hinged on Goods and Services Tax (GST) and its effect upon the states which earlier known as “Special Category States”. He elaborated upon different facets of GST and how this new regime of taxation is going have its effect on different states of India.

He further mentioned that relative disability of the special category states would be offset by making provisions for special fund in terms the criterion of forest cover and with the introduction of this criterion, these states will get more funds since the forest cover area of these states are much higher than the other states.

The plery lecture titled “Special Category States Post 14th Fince Commission” was delivered by Govind Bhattacharjee, Director General (Direct Taxes), Office of CAG, India.

In his lecture Bhattacharjee, gave a vignette of the evolution of Special Category states, criteria earmarked for recognizing such states and the fate of such states in view of fourteenth fince commission recommendations.

According to him, special category status may have been removed from the lexicon of public finces, but the benefits accrued to this group of states remain very much unchanged till now.

The semir also saw a panel discussion with bureaucrats and academicians. Apart from the representatives of the departments of Fince and Transformation and Development, Himanshu Sekhar Das, former Additiol Chief Secretary, Fince Government participated in the discussion.

Das deliberated upon the prospect of federalism in the period after the abolition of Planning Commission. According to him, the implications of the new regime of taxation and allocation of grants on the Northeastern States of India, particularly Assam is yet become very clear. However, he expected that the new regime of GST augurs well for the state, as in this new dispensation, the consuming states stand to gain more than the states producing goods.

Prof. Atul Sarma, Chairman of the Institute gave an account of the functioning of different fince commissions and his association with it. He also emphasised how impartiality has always been a trademark of the functioning of Fince Commissions in India.

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