The Commission on Centre-State relations cleared by the Union Cabinet two years ago will finally get off the ground.
The government on Friday appointed former Chief Justice of India Justice Madan Mohan Punchhi to head the commission and gave the four-member body a two-year deadline to look into Centre-State relations. Sarkaria Commission had last looked at the federal relationship two decades ago.
Two former home secretaries, Vinod Kumar Duggal and Dhirendra Singh and Dr NR Madhava Menon, former Director, National Judicial Academy, Bhopal and former Director, National Law School of India, Bangalore, have been appointed as members of the commission.
Headquartered in Delhi, the commission’s terms of reference include studying the need for a central law enforcement agency and enactment of supporting legislation under Article 355 of the Constitution that casts the responsibility for protecting states against external aggression and internal disturbance on the Centre.
Besides, the commission also has the mandate to study fiscal relations between the Centre and states, levying duties on goods and services in the emerging tax regime, freeing inter-state trade to establish a unified and integrated domestic market.
An official spokesman said the constitution of the commission fulfilled the government’s commitment made in the National Common Minimum Programme.