Sunday, July 21, 2013

Decentralisation - Chronology of Attempts and Committee Reports

The details of the history of attempts to promote decentralized planning from the first plan onwards to the mid-eighties is summarized in the table below:

Why Decentralization?

The main problem of centralized governance is lack of knowledge about local circumstances due to the geographical distance. It also creates psychological distance of government officials from citizens of the remote part. Best case in favor of decentralizing government is that it creates the inclusive institutions. Autonomy for local population to have a voice in government for decision making enables development. But, Political decentralization has no meaning if there is no fiscal decentralization.

Taking from the blog post written long back - As Oates (1993) explained, "the basic economic case for fiscal decentralization is the enhancement of economic efficiency: the provision of local outputs that are differentiated according to local tastes and circumstances results in higher levels of social welfare than centrally determined and more uniform levels of outputs across all jurisdictions.Although this proposition has been developed mainly in a static context (see my treatment of the "Decentralization Theorem,' 1972), the thrust of the argument should also have some validity in a dynamic setting of economic growth." Fiscal Experts have also concluded that decentralized government poses a threat to the macroeconomic stability and is incompatible with prudent fiscal management. (See Prud’homme, 1995; Tanzi, 1996). Among the fiscal experts a broad consensus has been arrived in the context of Musgrave’s trilogy of public functions, namely, allocation, redistribution, and stabilization, that the function of allocation can be assigned to lower level of governments, the other two would be more appropriate for the national government. Therefore, the macroeconomic management, particularly stabilization policy largely consider as clearly a central function (Musgrave, 1983; Oates 1972). [OP Vohra : Fiscal decentralization and devolution of financial resource]

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