Dr. Asim Dasgupta’s statement on the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission

We are making our preliminary observations on the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission, which was set up by the UPA-2 Government. Our final observations will be made after the Union Budget is presented.

We, the left and the Left Front Government of West Bengal, have been pioneer in making demand for decentralization in Centre-States financial relations. And one of our major demands has been to raise the share of central taxes to the states to at least 50 percent. This demand we have raised from the Left Front Government, as well as from the empowered committee of state finance ministers. We, now find that 14th Finance Commission has recommended an increase in central share taxes from previous proportion of 32 percent to 42 percent.  Although, this does not fully satisfy our demand but it is a good increase. We also note that there have been recommendations for enhancing central grants to the states.

There will be, therefore, additional resources available to the present state government of West Bengal. If these resources are properly utilized in the interest of common people, then there will be social gain. If, however, incurring the expenditure there is any deviation of financial norms, then there will be corresponding social loss.

24th February, 2015