15th Finance panel term extended till Nov. 30

To ensure funding needs of Defence

July 17, 2019 10:40 pm | Updated 10:40 pm IST - NEW DELHI

The Union Cabinet has approved expanding the terms of reference of the Fifteenth Finance Commission to address the funding requirements for defence and internal security as also extending its term to November 30, 2019.

“The Union Cabinet has approved the proposed amendment to enable the Fifteenth Finance Commission to address serious concerns regarding the allocation of adequate, secure and non-lapsable funds for defence and internal security of India,” the government said in a statement.

“Under the terms of reference (ToR) of the Commission, it is proposed to ensure an assured allocation of resources towards defence and internal security imperatives.” The amendment provides that the Fifteenth Finance Commission will also examine whether a separate mechanism for funding of defence and internal security be set up and if so, how such a mechanism could be operationalised. The Fifteenth Finance Commission was constituted by the President of India in November 2017 and was constituted to give recommendations for the five-year period starting April 1, 2020.

“The Union Cabinet has approved the extension of the Commission’s term up to November 30, 2019,” it added. “It will enable the Commission to examine various comparable estimates for financial projections in view of reforms and the new realities to finalise its recommendations for the period 2020-2025.”

These “new realities,” the government said, include the closure of the Planning Commission and its replacement by NITl Aayog, the removal of the distinction between non-plan and plan expenditure, advancing the Budget calendar by one month and passing the full Budget before the commencement of the new financial year, the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the new Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management architecture.

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