ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Growing Centralisation of Social Sector Policies in India

Social sector policies in India are increasingly being steered by the central government. The labyrinth of centrally sponsored and assisted schemes and their rising share in the centre's support for the plan through gross budgetary support are important factors. The element of discretion in centre-state transfers and the bypassing of state machinery in the flow of funds add to the complexity in this sphere. This paper deliberates on the recommendations of the Planning Commission's 2011 Chaturvedi Committee on restructuring of centrally sponsored schemes and discusses some of the larger issues that emerge from centralisation of social sector expenditure.

Octroi - A Tax in a Time Warp: What Does Its Removal Imply for Greater Mumbai?

Vestigial octroi posts can now be found in the country only in a few cities of Maharashtra. These "legendary customs walls" yielded an easy finance for the city and town development and thus, many local bodies continued with this tax despite its debilities. The fiscal composure of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai can be singularly attributed to the contribution of octroi, which serves around half of its total revenue income. This paper discusses the fiscal significance of this tax in Greater Mumbai and deliberates on various alternative sources of revenue.

Reforming Property Tax System

This paper has been written in the context of the clamour for reform in the property tax systems in Indian municipalities. Recent attempts at reform have been based on shifting away from the age-old rental value based system of property taxation. The authors explore the possibility of an alternative capital value based system for a metropolitan city and address the intricacies of a smooth shift-over to the alternative, taking into consideration the pre-reform utility positions of both the property owners and the local government.

Obituary: Remembering Vikash Pandey

At both the personal and professional levels Vikash Pandey worked towards promoting space for individual freedom and appreciated differences. He had a capacity to challenge the status quo and to create space for the unexplored.
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