President clears members’ names; 16th Finance Commission all set to kick off

The panel is chaired by the first NITI Aayog vice-chairman and Columbia University professor Arvind Panagariya

January 31, 2024 10:54 am | Updated 10:53 pm IST - NEW DELHI

A file photo of former Expenditure Secretary Ajay Narayan Jha.

A file photo of former Expenditure Secretary Ajay Narayan Jha.

Setting the stage for the Sixteenth Finance Commission to start its work soon, the Centre late on Wednesday notified the appointment of four full-time members for the panel, which is chaired by the first NITI Aayog vice-chairman and Columbia University professor Arvind Panagariya.

Former Expenditure Secretary Ajay Narayan Jha, who was also part of the Fifteenth Finance Commission that was headed by N.K. Singh, has been reappointed as a member of the new panel tasked with recommending the tax-revenue sharing formula between the Centre and the States for the five-year period beginning April 2026.

Also Read | Cabinet approves creation of three officer-level posts for 16th Finance Commission

Annie George Mathew, former Special Secretary in the Expenditure Department of the Finance Ministry, has also been appointed as a full-time member, along with noted economist Niranjan Rajadhyaksha, who is an executive director at policy think tank Artha Global. State Bank of India’s group chief economic adviser Soumya Kanti Ghosh has also been included in the commission as a part-time member.

“The chairman and other members of the commission shall hold office from the date on which they respectively assume office up to the date of the submission of report or October 31, 2025, whichever is earlier,” the order from President Droupadi Murmu appointing members to the constitutional body specified.

October 2025 is the deadline set for the commission to submit its recommendations, so that they can be incorporated in the Budget exercise for 2026-27. The Finance Commission usually takes about two years to consult stakeholders in the States and Centre and arrive at their conclusions.

The Sixteenth Finance Commission’s terms of reference include a review of the present arrangements for financing disaster management initiatives and mooting measures to augment States’ consolidated funds to supplement resources available with panchayats and municipalities.

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