Govt constitutes 14th Finance Commission
Finance Minister P Chidambaram today constituted the 14th Finance Commission and appointed former RBI Governor YV Reddy as the chairman of the commission. The commission will submit the final report on 31 October 2014 and will give the fiscal roadmap from financial year 2016.
Announcing the formation of the Commission, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said it will look into issues like disinvestment, GST compensation, sale of non-priority PSUs and subsidies.
The other members of the Commission include Former Finance Secretary Sushma Nath, NIPFP Director M Govinda Rao, Planning Commission Member Abhijit Sen and Former Acting Chairman of National Statistical Commission Sudipto Mundle.
Finance Commission, a constitutional body, is set up every five years. The Commission lays down principles governing the grants-in-aid to states and other local bodies for a five-year period beginning April 1, 2014.
The 13th Finance Commission was headed by former Finance Secretary Vijay Kelkar.
Steps to lower gold imports under consideration, says FM
India is considering raising the cost of gold imports, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said on Wednesday, as part of efforts to curb the country's current account deficit, which widened to a record high of 5.4 percent of GDP in the September quarter.
He also said that the focus should be on foreign institutional investors and foreign direct investment as tools to fund the current account gap.
A sharp rise in gold imports, a hefty oil bill and falling exports due to the global slowdown have kept India's current account deficit at persistently high levels.
Gold import is a major constituent of India's rising Current Account Deficit. The CAD, which represents the difference between exports and imports after considering cash remittances and payment, widened to a record high of 5.4 percent of GDP, or $22.3 billion, in the July-September quarter.
In value terms, gold imports stood at $20.2 billion in the April-September period of the current fiscal, a decline of 30.3 percent over the corresponding period a year ago mainly on account of increase in customs duty on gold imports by government in January and March 2012.
With inputs from Agencies