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

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Missing Mandate

THE appointment of the Eleventh Finance Commission has at long last been announced. Although the presidential order notifying the composition and terms of reference of the commission claims that the state governments were consulted with regard to the terms of reference, it is obvious from the reactions from the state capitals that whatever consultations were held were far from adequate. The practice all along of the centre regarding it as its prerogative to decide on the type, content and level of consultation with the state governments has thus been persisted with. If instead the composition as well as terms of reference were to be cleared at a meeting of the Inter-State Council, not only would this ensure transparency in regard to the composition and terms of reference of one of the most important bodies mandated by the Constitution, but also it would inspire much greater confidence in the objectivity and impartiality of the recommendations of this body. This is particularly important now when different political parties are in power in the various states and not all of them are part of the alliance forming the government at the centre.

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