Fiscal Decentralisation and State Finance Commissions

Fiscal Decentralisation and State Finance Commissions

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About the Book

This book describes the structure of local finance in India with particular reference to Kerala, a state which has registered considerable progress on the decentralisation front after the 73rd and 74th Amendments to the Constitution, in the light of the reports of the State Finance Commissions (SFCs). It reviews the experience of local government financing in both developed and developing countries and identifies some common issues with respect to the typology of grants, nature of taxes, and the transfers made as well as the differences in the sources of revenue. The book examines the interface between Central Finance Commission and State Finance Commission, the criteria of devolution of grants and provides an elaborate account of the status of SFCs in different states in India. It then proceeds to discuss the trends in local finance in Kerala before and after participatory planning and describes the composition of Kerala State Finance Commission, compares the content of reports of different commissions in terms of issues like equalisation, incentives for own revenue mobilisation, new avenues for income, taxation reform and gender impact of the commission reports as well as actions taken on them. The empirical part of the book is case study of five Gram Panchayats. They are compared with respect to own fund collection, property taxes, profession tax and resource mobilisation. The book ends by summarising the main findings of the study and identifying some tasks and challenges ahead for future SFCs.

About the Authors

Nisha Velappan Nair (b. 1979) is Dr S Radhakrishnan UGC Post-Doctoral Fellow in Economics, School of Gandhian Thought and Development Studies, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam. She has recently published in Indian Journal of Gender Studies (Sage), Asian Journal of Women’s Studies (Taylor and Francis), Gandhi Marg, EPW, Sage Open. Her Current research interests include   Gender and Planning , Local Finance, Political Economy of Decentralised Planning and Costs and Benefits of Participation.

John S Moolakkattu (b. 1957) is Professor and Head, Department of International Relations & Dean, School of Global Studies, Central University of Kerala, Periye, Kasargod. He was earlier Professor & Director of School of Gandhian Thought and Development Studies, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, Professor at IIT Madras (2011-12) and Gandhi-Luthuli Chair Professor in Peace Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal (2008-10). Dr John is one of the widely cited scholars with an H index of 11. He also edits Gandhi Marg, the topmost journal in Gandhian Studies published from New Delhi. His research interests include Gandhi, Political and International Relations Theory, local governance, Gender and Development and Peace and Conflict Studies.

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