ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Issues before Ninth Finance Commission-On Closing the Pandora s Box

Issues before Ninth Finance Commission On Closing the Pandora's Box S Guhan Articles 280 (3) (a) and (b) of the constitution, which contain the basic mandate for finance commissions, require that they shall be called upon to recommend the distribution between the union and the states, and between the states, of shareable taxes under Articles 270 (income taxes other than the corporation tax) and 272 (union excise duties) and to recommend grants-in-aid to states which may be in "need of assistance" under Article 275. This paper examines the issues involved in the manner in which the Ninth Finance Commission has been called upon to approach its basic mandate of transfers under Articles 270, 272 and 275. The terms of reference for the commission have opened a Pandora's box. The author dwells on the pestilential contents of the box and draws some pointers on what it will involve to close the box so that hope may continue to remain within.

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