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Terms of Reference of Ninth Finance Commission

Terms of Reference of Ninth Finance Commission G Thimmaiah IN their article published in EPW (July 25) B P R Vitha. and M L Sastry ( V and S for short).have analysed the implications of the composition and terms of refrence of the Ninth Finance Commission The purpose of" this note is to point out certain misconceptions in their interpretation of the terms of reference. V and S have maintained that it is not necessary that the government of India should give any directions or guidelines for the Finance Commission by using such words as "shall have regard among other considerations, . .'' because they are not envisaged in the Constitution. Fur ther, they have observed that "the union cannot through the Presidential Order constituting the commission dictate the manner in which the commission is to function in discharging Us duty which has been conferred on it by Article 280 of the Constitution. The terms of reference as at present worded therefore arc unconstitutional. I hey should either be amended to fall in line with the phraseology of the terms of reference of previous commissions or the Finance Commission should itself ignore this direction as being repugnant to the provisions of the Constitution under Which the commis sion has been constituted" (p 1249).

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