India has named Arvind Panagariya as chairman of the Sixteenth Finance Commission, a Constitutional body that primarily decides on the tax revenue sharing formula between the federal government and the states.
The noted professor of Indian economic policy at Columbia University earlier served as the first vice-chairman of government think tank NITI Aayog from January 2015 to August 2017.
Indian Administration Service officer Ritvik Ranjanam Pandey will be secretary of the commission, ministry of finance notification said.
The chairman and other members will hold office from the date on which they respectively assume office up to the date of submission of the report, or 31 October 2025, whichever is earlier, the notification said.
The reconstituted finance commission will recommend the tax revenue sharing formula for the five years beginning April 2026. The commission may also review the present arrangements on financing disaster management initiatives, the notification added.
Apart from deciding on the division of tax revenues between the Centre and the states, the commission’s remit also includes deciding the ratio of allocation of funds among the states themselves.
The commission will also decide on the contours of providing financial aid to the states from the Consolidated Fund of India, and the specific amounts to be granted for various purposes, apart from charting strategies to increase state funds to support local governments, based on the recommendations made by the finance commission of the states.
Between January 2015 to August 2017, as vice chairman of NITI Aayog, Panagariya had served as India’s G20 Sherpa and led the Indian teams that negotiated the G20 communiqués during the presidencies of Turkey (2015), China (2016), and Germany (2017).
Panagariya is a former chief economist of the Asian Development Bank and has worked at the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in various capacities.
He holds a PhD degree in economics from Princeton University in the US.