Reforming IndiaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Fiscal Transfer System : Resolving Vertical and Horizontal Imbalances
AbstractTwo central problems in a fiscal transfer systemrelate to resolving vertical and horizontal imbalances. In the context of the setting of the 13th Finance Commission, this paper looks at the methodological background of fiscal transfers followed by recent Finance Commissions in India, particularly the Twelfth Finance Commission (TFC). It is noted that in India, there is long - term stability in the share of states after transfers in the combined revenues of the centre and the states. It is argued that this stability depends on linking the share of states in the transfers, particularly tax devolution with the difference in the buoyancies of central and states taxes. In the context of horizontal imbalance, it is argued that some of the recent Finance Commissions have implicitly followed an axiomatic approach to tax devolution and brought in some normative elements in determining grants. In spite of large difference in fiscal capacities, a high degree of equalization has been achieved. It is shown, for example, that in the case of TFC recommended transfers, nearly 88 percent of needed equalization was achieved while devoting 50 percent of transfers to resolving vertical imbalance. Amethodology is also developed to determine weights of vertical and equalizing components of transfers through devolution. In the case of the Twelfth Finance Commission, the horizontal component of tax devolution is strengthened by a scheme of equalizing health and education grants.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by East Asian Bureau of Economic Research in its series Finance Working Papers with number 22509.
Date of creation: Jan 2008
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fiscal transfer system; vertical imbalance; horizontal imbalance; Twelfth Finance Commission;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- O23 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Fiscal and Monetary Policy in Development
- E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
- E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
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