Great Expectations

Context: According to Bibek Debroy, normative recommendations of Finance commissions (FC) remains on paper. Types of recommendations made by the Finance Commission:
  • Vertical devolution-Vertical devolution which is done between Centre and State.
  • Horizontal distribution– Distribution made between states, on the basis of a formula varying State-to-State.
  • Grant-in-aid -Such sums as Parliament may determine for states to be in need of assistance, and different sums may be fixed for different states.
Great Expectation of FC (as per 13 Finance Commission):
  • Case disposal- It is expected that about 14,825 courts can dispose of 225 lakh pending as well as freshly filed cases of a minor nature within a year.
  • State Litigation Policy-There was also a “condition” about state governments formulating a “State Litigation Policy” which will again leave the courts overburdened.
  • Horizontal Distribution- For equitable horizontal distribution, the measurement of cost disabilities is important. And the data needed for doing so is not available and the FC made recommendations without proper calculations.
Way Forward:
  • Technical in approach- The Commission is supposed to be technical in its approach and logical in its procedure.
  • Subject Experts- Recommendations provided to the President require members who are experts in the subject matters related to the Commission.
  • Rule out irregularities– Actions must, therefore, be taken in order to rule out the irregularities taking place within and by the Commission.

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