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Finance panel to study pricing of utilities

Finance panel to study pricing of utilities

Former RBI Governor YV Reddy would head the 14th Finance Commission, which was set up by the government to study the pricing of public utilities, disinvestment, GST compensation, sale of non-priority PSUs and subsidies.

The panel would submit its report by October 31, 2014 and its recommendations would apply for the period beginning April 1, 2015.

The commission would study the “need for insulating the pricing of public utility services like drinking water, irrigation, power and public transport from policy fluctuations through statutory provisions”.

The other members of the Commission are 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.

The Commission is set up every five years under the provisions of the Constitution on sharing of tax proceeds between the Union and States.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister P Chidambaram clarified that the government was not giving any signal for price hike of public utilities.

“It is only highlighting matters (relating to) the management of nation’s finances over the five year period from 2015 … These are matters which cannot be ducked or shrugged away. We have to face these matters”, he remarked.

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