The 15th finance commission’s mandate is restricted as per the terms of reference (TOR) only for the Centre and states, though the commission will take a final call only after examining the re-organisation notification in detail, an official said. But, going by the given TOR, the commission will not be able to assess finances of J&K when it gives its report in November.
UTs were excluded from the finance commission's mandate after the divisible pool was enlarged in 2000 (11th finance commission), though UTs were part of the mandate till tenth finance commission.
However, the government has the option to expand the TOR of the finance commission and ask it to include it as a part of centre’s overall requirement. “It can issue a notification asking the commission to include J&K’s requirement as part of centre’s overall requirement,” a member of 14th finance commission said.
The government on July 18 extended the 15th Finance Commission's term by a month till November 30 and also TOR to suggest ways for allocation of non-lapsable funds for defence and internal security. The government on November 27, 2017, notified the 15th Finance Commission headed by N K Singh to suggest, among other things, the formula for devolution of funds to states by the centre for five years commencing April 1, 2020.
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