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West Bengal: Fiscal Decentralization to Rural Governments: Analysis and Reform Options


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This report is about the fiscal performance of rural local governments in the state of West Bengal. Specifically, our goal is to develop a comprehensive fiscal information system for all rural local governments, and to use these data to valuate the intergovernmental finance structure in the state. The work is of significant policy importance, given the need to implement programs to respond to the constitutional amendments mandating fiscal decentralization, and to support central and state government initiatives to use the Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRIs) as an important part of its poverty alleviation strategy. A more immediate need in West Bengal (and other states as well) is to support the work of the State Finance Commissions to better integrate rural local governments into the intergovernmental fiscal framework. To date, there has not been a comprehensive review of rural local government finance in West Bengal.

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Paper provided by International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University in its series International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU with number paper0907.

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Length: 151 pages
Date of creation: 01 Jul 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ays:ispwps:paper0907

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Keywords: West Bengal; Fiscal Decentralization; Decentralization;

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


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  1. Richard Miller Bird, 1999. "Rethinking Subnational Taxes - A New Look at Tax Assignment," IMF Working Papers 99/165, International Monetary Fund.
  2. Nirvikar Singh & T.N. Srinivasan, 2004. "Indian Federalism, Economic Reform and Globalization," Public Economics 0412007, EconWPA.
  3. Bahl, Roy & Martinez-Vazquez, Jorge, 2006. "Sequencing fiscal decentralization," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3914, The World Bank.
  4. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Andrey Timofeev & Jameson Boex, 2006. "Reforming Regional-Local Finance in Russia," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6925, October.
  5. Roy Bahl & Sally Wallace, 2004. "Intergovernmental Transfers: The Vertical Sharing Dimension," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0419, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
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