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FFC begins tiol level interactions from Aruchal

Our correspondent 

Itagar, April 6: The 15th Fince Commission (FFC) that monitors the sharing of tax revenues between the Central and the State governments has launched its tiol level interactions from Aruchal Pradesh.
A 13-member team of the Commission, including four members, secretary Arvind Mehta and joint secretary  MS Bhatia along with other officials, led by acting Chairman Shaktikanta Das arrived here on Thursday on a four-day visit to the State.
“Apart from performing its constitutiolly mandated task of deciding the distribution of the shareable Central tax  proceeds among the Centre, States and local bodies, for the first time in the post-goods and services tax (GST) era, the Commission will also recommend the appropriate levels of general and consolidated government debt and deficit levels for both the Centre and the States,” Das, who was the former economic affairs secretary, told in a press conference here on Friday.
Das said that the Commission after holding consultation with 29 States across the country would submit its recommendation to the President of India by October 31, 2019. The Commission’s recommendations will come into effect for five years starting from April 1, 2020.
Das said that the Commission had a meeting with Chief Minister Pema Khandu, Deputy Chief Minister Chow Mein, other Ministers, Chief Secretary Satya Gopal and senior officers and had detailed discussions on the challenges faced by the State.
“The State Government made a detailed presentation of the State finces including various challenges and requirements, besides projecting the requirements of the urban and local bodies, vulnerability of the State to tural disaster besides suggestions for sharing of the Central taxes,” Das said.
“The State has several challenges and also the opportunities in hydro-power, tourism, food processing and agri-horti sectors. Moreover, there are border related challenges across the border and insurgency problem in most of the border areas of the State,” he added.
He said the visit was useful as it gave the opportunity to the Commission to understand all issues and challenges face by the State.
Das said the State government had suggested giving weightage on population, infrastructure gap and border area development as criteria for devolution of the Central taxes.
Responding to a media query, Das said the Terms of Reference (ToR) of the FFC cannot be decided by the Commission and it is bound to work within its parameters. When asked on the role of the Commission on the GST regime, Das informed the media persons that it is the duty of the Commission to study the implementation of the GST and its impact on revenue generation.

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Ankur Kalita