Arvind Panagariya appointed as 16th Finance Commission Chairman

President Droupadi Murmu has appointed Arvind Panagariya, former Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog and Professor, Columbia University, as Chairman of the 16th Finance Commission. 

  • Also read: Indian economy to reach $5 trillion in 2026; to catch up with US in 2072: Economist Arvind Panagariya

The 16th Finance Commission would have to make its Report available by October 31, 2025 covering a period of five years from April 1, 2026.

The new Finance Commission Chairman and other members would hold office from the date on which they respectively assume office up to the date of submission of the Report or October 31, 2025, whichever is earlier, according to the order made by President Murmu and issued by the Department of Economic Affairs in Finance Ministry. 

The Members of the Commission will be notified separately. Ritvik Ranjanam Pandey would be the Secretary to the 16th Finance Commission.

Panagariya, an Indian-American economist, had served as the first Vice Chairman of the Government of India’s think-tank NITI Aayog between January 2015 and August 2017.

An authority on free trade, Panagariya is widely regarded as the foremost expert in the world on Indian economy. 

He was the former Chief Economist of the Asian Development Bank and was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the President of India in 2012 for his contributions in the field of economics and public policy.

Panagariya was the Professor of economics and co-director of Center for International Economic at the University of Maryland at College Park from 1978 to 2003.

He currently serves as the Jagdish Bhagwati Professor of Indian political Economy at Columbia University.

  • Also read: Claims of spike in poverty in India during Covid-19 patently false: paper co-authored by Panagariya

Panagariya had previously worked for the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organisation and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). He served as an Adviser to the Board of US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF).

Terms of Reference

The 16th Finance Commission will make recommendations on the distribution between the Union and the States of the net proceeds of taxes that are to be divided between them.

It will also suggest the principles that should govern the grants-in-aid of the revenues of the States out of the Consolidated Fund of India and the sums to be paid to the States by way of grants-in-aid of their revenues under Article 275 of the Constitution for purposes other than those specified in the provisos to clause (1) of that article.

The Terms of Reference also included the measures needed to augment the Consolidated Fund of a State to supplement the resources of the Panchayats and Municipalities in the State on the basis of the recommendations made by the Finance Commission of the State. 

The Commission may review the present arrangements on financing disaster management initiatives with reference to the funds constituted under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and make appropriate recommendations thereon

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