Accountability Initiative Public Finance Blog Series
By Accountability Initiative, 01 Sep 2016

Accountability Initiative (AI) released a series of blogs to demonstrate our recent research on fiscal devolution and social sector spending in India. The research specifically investigates the implications of the 14th Finance Commission’s (FFC) recommendations on funding central schemes for development programmes in education, health and sanitation in India. It does this through a preliminary evaluation of 19 state budgets and an in-depth analysis of six states and four centrally sponsored schemes.

The blog series takes forward questions from the research to investigate the degrees to which social sector spending has been altered in the country. 

Winners and Losers: How the 14th Finance Commission Recommendations Impacted State Revenues

The first blog highlights areas in which states have gained from the recent devolution trends, as well as provide a complete picture on what has been lost in the process. It assess research from the 19-state analysis on social sector expenditure in 2015-16 to highlight the repercussion of devolution on state revenues.

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What Has Changed for Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSSs) in 2015 - 16?

The second blog examines the changes (or lack of) in CSSs, India’s primary vehicle to funding social welfare schemes. This blog draws how this new state autonomy will influence the structure, and hence function of CSSs in India.

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The 14th Finance Commission and Social Sector Spending

The primary objective of the FFC was to deliver greater fiscal autonomy to states to meet expenditure needs quicker and make informed expenditure decisions based on their state-specific needs. From the previous blogs we see that the FFC has succeeded in meeting this objective through measures of greater devolution to states, but how are they using this to their advantage? This blog explores this question by breaking down data collected from our research.

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The 14th Finance Commission and the Way Forward in States

Blog four in our series goes one step ahead by suggesting effective steps to take this research forward. Here our researchers show their interest in continuing to track the fiscal relationship between the Union and state governments to ensure social sector investments translate into efficient public service delivery to citizens.

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The Future of Centrally Sponsored Schemes in the New Era of Devolution

In the final blog, Yamini Aiyar, Director of AI, offers new thinking on centre-state dynamics a result of the FFC recommendations. With this, she suggests possible models that could mitigate the prevalent challenges in funding CSSs.

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To read our 19-state analysis of the impact of FFC recommendations on state budgets, click here

The scheme-wise (CSSs) analysis can be accessed through the following links: Sarva Shiksha AbhiyanIntegrated Child Development ServicesSwachh Bharat MissionNational Health Mission 

An in-depth analysis of 6 states on FFC implication on state budgets, available here: MaharashtraRajasthanBiharChhattisgarhKarnatakaTamil Nadu

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