June 06, 2016

The Cess Pool, Milch Class and the Idea of Free Money

Visting Fellow, Shankkar Aiyar in this New Indian Express article argues:

 

"If the taxpayer is asked to and is obliged to part with his monies for a specific purpose, is the taxpayer not entitled for a clean statement—a left and right-hand column on total cess collected under all heads, segment-wise deployment of cess collected and outcomes achieved statement?

The other facet of the cess pool is that government after government, for reasons of political and economic exigencies, institute a new cess. Remarkably, and frequently, the cess is instituted to improve or address an area of deficit or distress that is squarely in the domain of state governments. Unsurprisingly, the usage and deployment of funds is stranded between Centre and states —thanks to the divorce of authority and accountability...

This government has coined the mantra of cooperative federalism. It has also repeatedly chanted the mantra of transparency and good governance.  Both aspirations demand empowerment—of funds, functions and functionaries. And the timing couldn’t be better—the BJP is after all now in power in nearly a dozen states."

 

Read the full article here.

Topic : State Capacity / In : OP-EDS
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