These essays comprehensively cover key aspects of fiscal federalism in India both in theoretical and empirical terms. An analysis of experiences and challenges of fiscal federalism as it evolved over the last sixty years since the First Finance Commission-reveals the emerging patterns in transfer of resources from the centre to the states. Management of Central and state finances relating to sustainability of debt and fiscal deficit is also an important aspect of the present discussion. Attention is drawn to the re-emergence of high levels of fiscal imbalance and the implementation of fiscal decentralization in India, particularly in the light of the recommendations by the Thirteenth Finance Commission. Comparison with two developed federal systems in the world, the Canadian and the Australian systems, is an important feature of this study.
C. Rangarajan, Chairperson, Economic Advisory Council, Government of India; D.K. Srivastava is Director, Madras School of Economics