Former revenue and expenditure secretary N K Singh, also an ex-Rajya Sabha member, is being considered for the position of the chairman of the 15th Finance Commission, it is learnt.
While Singh’s isn’t the only name being discussed (outgoing home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi
is also said to be in the fray), Singh's record as a senior bureaucrat, technocratic credentials, and knowledge of central and state finances places him in a strong position, two sources have said.
Now a Bharatiya Janata Party member, Singh was a Rajya Sabha member in 2008-14. He was also Officer on Special Duty in the Prime Minister’s Office under Atal Bihari Vajpayee, besides being a member of the erstwhile Planning Commission.
Singh was most recently the chairman of the committee to review the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management law and its working. It's proposed law to replace this, on a fiscal road map till FY23, might be introduced in Parliament during the winter session.
“These are still early discussions, as the composition and terms of reference of the Finance Commission will only be announced towards the end of the year. Singh’s name has been discussed. His track record is quite strong,” said one of the two sources Business Standard spoke to.
The Finance Commission is set up every five years, to suggest the rules for distribution of tax proceeds among Centre, states and local bodies. The government has begun work on the 15th Finance Commission.
Its recommendations will be for the years 2020-2025.
The 14th Finance Commission was headed by former Reserve Bank of India Governor Y V Reddy.
It had recommended the devolution of an unprecedented 42 per cent of the divisible pool to states during 2015-16 to 2019-20, against 32 per cent suggested by the previous commission.