Fiscal Council may improve transparency and accountability, but Centre is not in favour of it

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New Delhi: The central government on Tuesday informed the Rajya Sabha said that it is not in favour of setting up a Fiscal Council as was suggested by the different Finance Commissions.

The 15th Finance Commission had suggested to the centre to set up an independent Fiscal Council with powers to access records as required from the Union as well as the States. Similar suggestions were made by the 13th and the 14th Finance Commissions.

Disagreeing with the suggestion, Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary in a written reply in the Upper House said the "institutions such as the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, the National Statistical Commission, the Finance Commission, etc. perform some or all of the roles proposed for the Fiscal Council by different Finance Commissions on Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM)."

The finance commissions wanted the centre to set up the Fiscal Council to assess and monitor fiscal policy, effective implementation of fiscal rules and strengthening of fiscal performance.

The proposed Council was also expected to improve coordination between the centre and the states, bring about the consistency of the fiscal targets across levels of government and ensure enhanced accountability to Parliament/Legislatures and the public at large in calibrating fiscal policies. PTI

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