07 September, Bhubaneswar
The Centre of Excellence in Fiscal Policy and Taxation (CEFT), established by the Government of Odisha in collaboration with Xavier University Bhubaneswar, was inaugurated on 7th September, 2015, at Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar. The Hon’ble Chief Minister of Odisha, Shri Naveen Patnaik, inaugurated the centre and presided over the event as the Chief Guest. The other distinguished personalities who graced the occasion were Shri Pradip Kumar Amat, Hon’ble Minister of Finance, Government of Odisha, Shri Upendra Nath Behera, Development Commissioner, Additional Chief Secretary, Government of Odisha and Shri R. Balakrishnan, Additional Chief Secretary (Finance), Government of Odisha.
The centre has been established as the first point of reference for policy research in tune with the objectives of the Odisha Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act of 2005. It will focus on providing fiscal reports and relevant data, revenue forecasting, analysis of fiscal and financial issues, budget outlook, project financing and management, specialized training for finance and taxation officials, interaction between academicians and finance officials etc. The centre aims at being a platform for fiscal management and taxation policies.
CEFT, a collaboration of Govt. of Odisha and Xavier University, is a unique model among all state level Fiscal Policy Units in India. The Centre State relationship is going to change because of the recommendations of 14th Finance Commission and setting up of NITI Aayog. CEFT will focus on contextual policy research for augmentation of both tax and non tax revenue by bridging the tax gap and optimization of capital outlay which will be instrumental in creating a higher growth trajectory in our state on sustainable basis.
Dr. Asit Ranjan Mohanty of Xavier University has been nominated as the Chair Professor of CEFT. A Governing Body will set the working policies and deliverables for CEFT which will be chaired by the Additional Chief Secretary to the Government (Finance) and the Chair Professor will be the Member Secretary.
The event began at 11:30 AM on Monday, 7 September 2015 with a welcome address by Fr. Paul Fernandes, S.J, Vice Chancellor, Xavier University. In his address, he said that every state has to deliver public goods and services to its citizens and thanked the Chief Minister for doing so while improving the Finances of the state spectacularly. This was followed by addresses by Shri R. Balakrishnan and Shri Upendra Nath Behera, both of whom stressed on the need for the CEFT in the state.
The Finance Minister of Odisha, Shri Pradip Kumar Amat then addressed the gathering and said “The shift in inter-governmental fiscal relations in recent times is both a challenge and an opportunity for the fiscal administrators to work for long term fiscal sustainability ensuring economy, efficiency and effectiveness in Public Financial Management, so as to provide value for money.” This was followed by the address by the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Odisha, Shri Naveen Patnaik who focused on the change in the dispensation for Central Plan Assistance to the State. Shedding light on the financial situation of our state, he said “The developmental needs of our state, in view of its unique geographical situation, diverse socio-economic profile throws a unique challenge. It requires a subtle and nuanced approach. In this scenario, it is imperative to meet the rising expectations of the people. “
The Inaugural Ceremony concluded with vote of thanks by CEFT Chair Professor Dr. Asit Ranjan Mohanty.
The event was followed by a National Conference on “Fiscal Policy and taxation” at 02:00 PM. The topic of the first session was “Changing Paradigm in the State Finance”. The expert speakers of this topic were Dr. Debashis Acharya, Professor, School of Economics, Central University of Hyderabad, Shri S.P. Mohanty, Deputy General Manager, Reserve Bank of India and Dr. Samir Ranjan Behera, Assistant Advisor, Reserve Bank of India and the moderator of the session was Prof. Tapas Sen, Professor, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, New Delhi. The topic of the second session was “Financial Stability and Macro Economic Fiscal Policy”, which was moderated by Shri B.M. Misra, Principal Advisor, Department of Economic and Policy Research, Reserve Bank of India. The expert speakers of this session were Dr. C.S. Mohapatra, Joint Secretary, Adviser (FS), Ministry of Finance, Government of India and Dr. N.R. Bhanumathy, Professor, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, New Delhi.