FORMER MEMBER, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister   
Dr. M. Govinda Rao, Member
Residence: Flat No. 1, Academic Staff, Quarters, 18/2, Satsang Vihar Marg, Special Institutional Area, (Near JNU East Gate), New Delhi-110067.
Office: Director, NIPFP, 18/2, Satsang Vihar Marg, Special Institutional Area, (Near JNU East Gate), New Delhi-110067.
Tel.No: (O) 26857274; (R) 26857275, 30996762;

mgr[at]nipfp[dot]org ; mgrao[at]vsnl[dot]com


I. Personal Particulars




Date of Birth

:April 7, 1947.



Present Address

:National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, 18/2 Satsang Vihar Marg, Special Institutional Area, New Delhi 110067, India.
e-mail: Tel; 91 11 2685 7274 Fax:91 11 26593421

Academic Qualifications

:Ph.D., 1979- (Economics)..

II. Experience in Management, Research and Consultancy

Present Position

: Director, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, New Delhi, 110067, India.


Member, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India. January 1, 2005.

Past Positions

:  Director,  Institute for  Social  and Economic Change, Bangalore, December 1998- December 2002.


Fellow, (March 1995 - December, 1998) Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University, Canberra.


Professor, (April, 1985 - March 1998). National  Institute  of Public Finance  and Policy (NIPFP), New Delhi, India.


Economic Adviser, (October 1987-December, 1989) The Finance Commission, Government of India, (On leave from NIPFP)


Associate Professor, NIPFP., (August 1984 - March, 1985).

Other Academic Positions:

1. Post-doctoral Fellow - Department of Economics, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland. USA. 1981-82.


2. Visiting Scholar - Department of Economics, University of Montreal, Montreal, Canada.   October-November, 1993.


3.  Visiting  Scholar,  Department  of Economics, University of Toronto, Canada. 1991.

III. Chairmanship/Membership of Committees


1. Member, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, January 2005 -


2. Chairman - Mission Group on Decentralization, Government of Karnataka, India, February - April, 2010.


3. Chairman, Technical Experts Committee for the Introduction of State VAT in India, Ministry of Finance, Government of India.


4. Chairman, Expert Group on Taxation of Services, Ministry   of  Finance,   Government   of  India, September 2000- March, 2001.


5. Member, Expert Group Grassroots Planning, Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India, May 2005.


6. Member,   UNDP   Bangkok   Regional   Centre Advisory Panel on Democratic Governance.


7. Member, Tax Reforms Commission, Government of Karnataka, August 2000 - November 2002.


8. Member,    Revenue    Reforms     Commission, Government of Karnataka, November 2002-


9. Member, Working Group of Financial Resources for the Plan, Panning Commission, Government of India. 2000


10. Member-Secretary -  State Finance Ministers' Committee on Sales Tax Reform, October, 1994 - March, 1995.

IV. International Development Policy Research and Consultancy.

Has been a Consultant to the World Bank, IMF, Asian Development Bank, UNDP, UN-ESCAP, Financial and Fiscal Commission, Government of South Africa on tax policy and reforms, fiscal decentralization and federalism, intergovernmental finance and expenditure management

IV. Publications

A. Books and Monographs:
1. Public Economics: Theory and Policy, (Essays in honour of Amaresh Bagchi), Edited by M. Govinda Rao and Mihir Rakshit, Sage Publishers, 2011.
2. States' Fiscal Management and Regional Equity, Edited by M. Govinda Rao and Anwar Shah), Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2009.
3. Fiscal Decentralisation and Gender Budgeting: (With Lekha Chakraborty and Amaresh Bagchi) NIPFP Monograph, 2008.
4. Political Economy of Federalism in India (with Nirvikar Singh), New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2005. (Paperback, 2006)
5. Inter-State Equalization in Health Expenditures (with Mita Chaudhury), NIPFP, 2008
6. Mid-Year Review of Indian Economy - 2005, India International Centre, Shipra Publications (for India International Centre), New Delhi, 2006.
7. Sustainable Fiscal Policy for India: An International Perspective (co-edited with Peter Heller), New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2006.
8. Development, Poverty, and Fiscal Policy: Decentralization of Institutions (Edited) New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2002. Paperback, 2004.
9. Economics of Electricity Supply in India, Macmillan Publishers (co-author), New Delhi, 1997.
10. Fiscal Federalism in India: Theory and Practice, (with Tapas K. Sen) Macmillan Publishers, New Delhi, 1996.
11. Survey of Research in Indian Fiscal Federalism. (With R. J. Chelliah), Indian Council of Social Science Research, New Delhi, 1996.
12. State Level Budgetary Reforms: Some Proposals. Indian Economic Association Trust for Research and Development, New Delhi, 1992.
13. Sales Taxation in Madhya Pradesh (with V.B. Tulasidhar and K.N. Balasubramanian), Vikas Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, 1991.
14. Financing Public Sector Development Expenditure in India, Asian Development Bank, Manila, 1988.
15. Entry Tax in Gujarat, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, 1984.
16. Political Economy of Tax and Expenditure Determination in Indian States, Allied Publishers, New Delhi, 1981.
17. Trends and Issues in Indian Federal Finance, (co-author), Allied Publishers, New Delhi, 1981.

B. Articles in Journals/Edited Books:

a. Fiscal Decentralization, Federalism and Intergovernmental Finance: Working Papers:
1. Panchayats and Development, NIPFP Working paper Chapters Contributed to Books
1. "Fiscal federalism in India: Trends and Reform", in Roy Bahl and Shinachi Ichimura (Eds), Decentralization Policies in Asian Development, World Scientific, Singapore. 2009.
2. "Indian Fiscal Federalism in a Globalizing Environment: Trends and Reform Issues", Paper invited for the Centenary Conference on Prof. V. K. R. V. Rao, Institute for Economic Growth, New Delhi, 2009..
3. "Overlapping Fiscal Domains and Effectiveness of Environmental Policy in India" in Breton, Albert, Giorgio Brosio, Silvana Dalmazzone and Giovanna Garrone (Eds), Environmental Governance and Decentralization,. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, U. K.
4. "Asymmetric Federalism in India" (with Nirvikar Singh) in Richard Bird and Robert Ebel (Eds) Fiscal Fragmentation in Decentralized Countries, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, 2007.
5. Rural Fiscal decentralization in India: Problems and Reform Issues, in Satyajit Singh and Pradeep Sharma (Eds), Decentralization: Institutions and Politics in Rural India, Oxford University Press, New delhi, 2007.
6. "Resolving Fiscal Imbalances: Issues in Tax Sharing" in Robin Boadway and Anwar Shah (eds) Intergovernmental Fiscal Transfers. The World Bank. (2007).
7. "Fiscal Federalism in Planned Economies", in Ehtisham Ahmad and Georgio Brosio (eds) Handbook on Fiscal Federalism, Edward Elgar Publishers. (2006)
8. "India's Federal Institutions and Economic Reform" (with Nirvikar Singh) in Pratap Bhanu Meheta and Devesh Kapur (eds) Public Institutions in India, Oxford University Press, 2005.
9. "Sub-national Fiscal Reforms in India", in Kaushik Basu (ed) India's Emerging Economy: Performance and Prospects in the 1990s and Beyond" M. I. T. Press, Boston, Mass, 2003.
10. "Federal Fiscal Transfers in India", Encyclopaedia of India (Editor in Chief: Stanley Wolport). 2005
11. "How to Think About Local Government Reform in India", (with Nirvikar Singh), in Kaliappa Kalirajan and U. Sankar (eds), Economic Reform and the Liberalization of the Indian Economy, Cheltenham, U. K.: Edward Elgar. 2003.
12. "Fiscal Decentralization in Indian Federalism", in Ehtisham Ahmad and Vito Tanzi (Eds), Managing Fiscal Decentralization, Routledge. 2002.
13. "Fiscal Decentralization in Vietnam", in Hal Hill (Ed), The Economic Development of Southeast Asia, An Elgar Reference Collection, Cheltenham: UK. 2002.
14. Fiscal Decentralization in Transitional Countries", In Jorge Martinez and James Alm (Eds), Public Finance in Developing Countries: Essays in Honor of Richard Bird, 2003.
15. "Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations in a Planned Economy", in Richard M. Bird and Fracois Vaillancourt (eds), Fiscal Decentralization in Developing Countries, Cambridge University Press, 1999.
16. "The Changing Requirements of Fiscal Relations: Fiscal Decentralization in a Unified State" (with Richard Bird and Jennie Litvack) in Jennie I. Litvack and Dennis A. Rondinelli (eds), Market Reform in Vietnam: Building Institutions for Development, Connecticut: Quorum Books. 1999.
17. Principles of Intergovernmental Transfer, Have the Finance Commissions Followed Them? In D. K. Srivastava, Fiscal Federalism in India: Contemporary Challenges, Har Anand Publications, 2000.
18. "Intergovernmental Transfers in India", in Ehtisham Ahmad (Ed), Decentralizing Public Expenditures, Edward Elgar Publishers, New York, 1997.
19. "Indian Fiscal Federalism From a Comparative Perspective", in Balvir Arora and Douglas Verney (Eds), Multiple Identities in a Single State-. Konarak Publishers Pvt. Ltd. 1995.(Proceedings of a conference on Indian Federalism in Comparative Perspective, organized by the Center for Advanced Studies on India, University of Pensylvania). \
20. "Intergovernmental Transfers and Equalization in India" (with T.K. Sen) in, Christine Fletcher (Ed). Intergovernmental Transfers and Equity in Developing Countries, Cambridge University Press, (Forthcoming), Canberra, Australia.
21. "Fiscal Federalism in India: Problems and Prospects", in S. Mundle (Ed), Fiscal Policy in India, Oxford University Press, (Forthcoming).
22. "Intergovernmental Fiscal Transfers in India: Some Issues of Design and Measurement" in Amaresh Bagchi and Nicholas Stern (Eds.), Tax Policy and Planning in Developing Countries, Oxford University Press, 1994.
23. "Evaluating Fiscal Norms for Central and State Governments - Some Methodological Issues", in NIPFP (Ed), The Ninth Finance Commission Report - Issues and Recommendations, 1993.
24. "Ninth Finance Commission Recommendations: Some Conceptual and Methodological Issues" in NIPFP (Ed), The Ninth Finance Commission Report - Issues and Recommendations. (Reproduced from Economic and Political Weekly, June 9, 1990).
25. "Fiscal Imbalances in Indian Federalism" in S. N. Chary and Vinod Vyasulu (Eds)., Managing India's Planning, Printwell Publishers, 1992.

(ii) Articles in Journals on Fiscal Federalism and Intergovernmental Finance

1. The Thirteenth Finance Commission's Report: Conundrum of Conditionalities, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XLV, No. 48 November 27, 2010. Pp. 46-55.
2. "Panchayats and Development", Paper submitted to the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India 2009.
3. "Urban Governance in Finance in India" (jointly with Richard Bird), Working Papers Series 13, Rotman School of International Business, University of Toronto.
4. The Political Economy of India's Fiscal Federal System and its Reform, Publius: Journal of Federalism, Vol. 36, No. 4 fall, 2006
5. "Incentivising Fiscal Transfers in Indian Federation", Publius: Journal of Federalism, Vol. 33, No. 4, Fall 2003 pp. 43-62.
6. "Dynamics of Indian Federalism", Paper presented at the Stanford India conference on India, Center for Research in Economic Development and Policy Reform, Stanford University, June 3-4, 2002. (Working Paper No. 140, The Stanford Centre for International Development (SCID), Stanford University)
7. "Fiscal Federalism in India: Political Economy and Reform", (With Nirvikar Singh), Paper presented at the Conference on "India: Ten Years of Economic Reform", William Davidson Institute, University of Michigan, September 2001..
8. "The Political Economy of Center-State Fiscal Transfers in India" (With Nirvikar Singh), Paper presented at the Columbia University-World Bank Conference on Institutional Elements of Tax Design and Reform, February 18-19, 2000,
9. "Invisible Transfers in Indian Federalism", Public Finance/Financs Publiques,. Vol. 52. No 3-4, 1997. Pp. 429-448.
10. Fiscal Decentralization in Vietnam: Emerging Issues, Hitotsubashi Journal of Economics, Vol. 41, No.2, (December), 2000.pp. 163-177.
11. Intergovernmental Transfers in Selected Countries, Working Paper No. 45, Institute for Social and Economic Change.
12. "Convergence of Incomes in Indian States: A Divergent View", (with R.T.Shand and K. P. Kalirajan) Economic and Political Weekly, Paper presented at the IIPF conference in Cordoba, Argentina in August, 1998.
13. "Internal Migration, Center-State Grants and Economic Growth in the States of India - A Comment", (with Kunal Sen), I. M. F. Staff Papers, Vol. 44., No. 2, (July) , 1997. Pp.283¬288.
14. Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations and Poverty Alleviation in Viet Nam (with R.M. Bird and Jennie Litvack), Policy Research Working Paper No. 1430, Public Economics Division, The World Bank.1995.
15. "Intergovernmental Transfers and Poverty Alleviation in India" (with A. Das-Gupta). Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Vol. 13 No.1., 1995, pp.1-13.
16. "Inter-State Tax Disharmony in India: A Comparative Perspective" (with F. Vaillancourt), Publius: The Journal of Federalism, Vol. 24., Fall 1994.
17. "Issues Before the Tenth Finance Commission", (with R. J. Chelliah and T. K. Sen). Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XXVII. November 21, 1992.
18. "State Government Transfers to Municipal Bodies", Paper prepared for the World Bank study on "Financing Urban Services in India", India-Country Department, The World Bank, March, 1992.
19. Central Transfers to Offset Fiscal disadvantages of States: Measurement of Cost Disabilities and Expenditure Needs" Indian Economic Review, Vol. ., No. 2., January- June, 1991.
20. "Intergovernmental Transfers as an Instrument to Alleviate Poverty." Paper prepared for the Economic Development Institute, The World Bank, January, 1991.
21. "Measuring Tax Potential: Some Clarifications" (with J.V.M. Sarma), Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XXIV. April, 1989.
22. "Allocative Effects of Intergovernmental Flows in Less Developed Countries: A Case of India - A Comment". Public Finance/Finances Publiques, Vol. XXXII., No. 3, 1977.
23. "Federal Fiscal Transfers in India: Performance of Six Finance Commissions", Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XII. July 30, 1977.
24. "Specific Purpose Versus Block Transfers - A Note". Economic and Political Weekly, Vol.XXII. June, 1977.
25. "The Tax Performance of the States", (with K.V. Nambiar). Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. VII. May, 1972.

b. Papers on Tax Policy and Reforms.

1. "Tax System Reform in India" (Co-author: Kavita Rao), in Roger Gordon and Joseph Stiglitz, Tax Policy and Reform in Developing Countries, Initiative for Policy Dialogue, Columbia University, New York (Forthcoming).
2. "Trends and Issues in Tax Policy and Reform in India" (with R. Kavita Rao), India Policy Forum, NCAER and Brookings Institution, Vol. 2; 2005/06
3. "Tax System Reform in India: Achievements and Challenges Ahead", Paper presented at the International Symposium on Tax Policy and Reform in Asian Countries, Hitotsubhashi University, Tokyo, Japan, July 1-2, 2005
4. Tax Reform in India: Achievements and Challenges, Asia-Pacific Development Journal, Vol. 7, No. 2, 2000.
5. "Value Added Taxation in the States: The Challenges Ahead", (with J. V. M. Sarma), Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XXXII. No.5, February 1-7, 1997.
6. "Tax System Reforms in India: Its Impact on Income Redistribution and Poverty" in Impact of Tax Reforms on Income Distribution and Poverty in Selected Asian Countries. ESCAP, United Nations.
7. "Taxation of Services in the Asia - Pacific Region", Asian Development Review,Vol.11, No.2., 1993.
8. "Reform of Indirect Taxes in Developing Countries : Selected Issues", Asian Development Review, Vol. 10, No. 2, 1992.
9. "Excise Duty Evasion in Cotton Textile Fabrics", (with G. Pradhan). Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XXI, No. 44, 1985.
10. "Analysis of Indirect Taxation in Zimbabwe", Report prepared for the Commission of Inquiry into Taxation, Government of Zimbabwe, 1984.
11. "Incidence of Indirect Taxes in Zimbabwe", Report Prepared for the Commission of Inquiry into Taxation, Government of Zimbabwe. 1984.
12. "Elasticity of Non-Corporate Income Tax in India", (with A. Bagchi), Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XV, No. 36, 1982.

Recent Policy Papers on Indian Tax Policy:

1. "Direct Taxes Code: Need for Greater Reflection", Economic and Political Weekly, September 12, 2009.
2. "Feasibility of Introducing GST in April 2010"; Economic and Political Weekly, July 18, 2009.
3. Towards Clarity in GST; Economic and Political Weekly, December 19, 2009.
(c) General Studies on Fiscal Policy
1. "Fiscal Situation and reforms Agenda for the New Government", Economic and Political Weekly, (Forthcoming).
2. Comments on "Unfinished Reform Agendum: Fiscal Consolidation" by T. N. Srinivasan in Jagdish Bhagwati and Charles Calomiris (Eds), Sustaining India's Growth Miracle, Columbia Business School Publishing, 2008. pp. 104-113.
3. "Fiscal Space for Achieving the MDGs and Implementing the Tenth Plan (2008-2013) in
Bhutan" (Co - author: Anuradha Seth), Working Paper of UNDP, Economic and Political
Weekly, (Forthcoming).
4. "World Bank on Fiscal Reforms in India", (with R. T. Shand and K. Kalirajan), Economic and political Weekly, Vol. XXX, September 9, 1995.
5 "Public Finance and Economic Development - Lessons from India". (co author: T. K. Sen ), Asia - Pacific Development Journal, Vol. 2, No. 2, 1995.
6. "Issues in Fiscal Policy" (with S. Mundle), in Bimal Jalan (Ed), The Indian Economy : Problems and Prospects'" Viking Publishers, New Delhi,1992.
7. "Domestic Resource Mobilization in Pakistan - Selected Issues" (with Nizar Jetha and S. Akhtar), World Bank Staff Working Paper No. 632, 1984.

c. Papers on Public Expenditure Policy

1. "Accommodating Public Expenditure Policies: The Case of Fast Growing Asian Economies" World Development, A Special Issue on "Financing Human resource development in Advanced Asian Economies". (Forthcoming, April 1998)
2. "Public Expenditure in India: Trends and Issues" (with S. Mundle), in S. Mundle (Ed), Fiscal Policy in India, Oxford University Press, (Forthcoming).
3. "Uneven Growth of Government Expenditure in India: An Analysis of the Trends" (with T. K. Sen and Madanmohan Ghosh), Journal of Indian School of Political Economy, Vol. 7, No.2., 1995 (pp. 258-276).
4. "5. "Public Expenditures in India: Emerging Trends" (with V. B. Tulasidhar). In Alagh, Y. K., R. J. Mody and R. D. Desai. (Eds)., Stability and Development: Essays in Honour of D. T. Lakdawala, Har-Anand Publications, New Delhi.
5. "Public Expenditure Control in India", in United Nations (ESCAP), Control and Management of Government Expenditures: Issues and Experiences in Asian Countries, (Development Paper No. 13), 1992.
6. "An Analysis of Change in State Government Subsidies: 1977-87", (with S. Mundle), in A. Bagchi, J.L. Bajaj and W. A. Byrd (Eds.), State Finances in India, Vikas Publishing House Pvt. Ltd., 1992.
7. "Volume and Composition of Government Subsidies in India : 1987-88. (With S. Mundle). Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XXVI, February 1, 1991.

d. Studies on State and Local Finances:

(i) Research Reports.
1. "Management of Public Finances in Punjab", (with R.J. Chelliah and T. K. Sen). National Institute of Public Finance and Policy. New Delhi, 1993.
2. "Reforming the State Tax System in Kerala" (with T.K. Sen), Report prepared for the Committee on Resource Mobilisation, Government of Kerala. National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, New Delhi. 1992.
3. "Review of Plan Financing in Kerala During the Sixth Plan", (with A. Bagchi), Report prepared for the Planning Commission, Government of India. National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, New Delhi, 1987.
4. "Alternatives to Octroi in Rajasthan", (with G. Pradhan and O. P. Bohra). Report prepared for the Government of Rajasthan, 1985.
5. "Reform of Entertainment Tax, Electricity Duty, and Passengers and Goods Tax in Bihar. (With R. J. Chelliah), 1981.

(ii) Articles on State and Local Finances.

1. Multilateral Adjustment Lending to States in India: Hastening Fiscal Correction or Softening the Budget Constraint? The Journal of International Trade and Economic Development, Vol 15, No. 3, September 2006, pp. 335-359.
2. "How to Think About Local Government Reform in India", (Co-author; Nirvikar Singh), in K. P. Kalirajan and U. Sankar, Economic Reform and the Liberalisation of the Indian Economy, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, U. K. 2003.
3. "Role of Sub-national Governments in the Process of Economic Reforms". Paper presented in a conference on Economic Reforms in South Asia, Australia South Asia Research Centre, Australian National University, Canberra, R.T. Shand (Ed)., Economic Reforms in South Asia, Macmillan India Publishers, New Delhi,(2001).
4. "Fiscal Adjustment and the State Governments", Paper presented at the Conference on "Who Taxes, Who Spends and Who Eats: Institutions and Economic Development", Institutional Reforms and the Informal Sector, (IRIS). University of Maryland and National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, at New Delhi, December 7, 1994.(Working Paper -IRIS, University of Maryland).
5. "Fiscal Adjustment and the Role of the State Governments", Journal of International Trade and Economic Development" (1997)
6. "Role of State Governments in Fiscal Reforms", Journal of International Economic Studies, Vol. 10, 1995, pp. 95-118.
7. "Harmonizing Domestic Trade Taxes in India", Theme paper at the Indian Economic Conference, December 27-30, 1994. Indian Economic Journal, December, 1994.
8. "Proposals for State Level Budgetary Reforms", Economic and Political Weekly, Vol.XXVII, February 2, 1992.
9. "Impediments to Internal Trade and Allocative Distortions in India". Working Paper, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, New Delhi 1993.
10. "Economic Analysis of Sales Taxation in India", (with V. B. Tulasidhar), Bulletin for International Fiscal Documentation, Vol. 40, No.7, 1986.
11. "Cost and Efficacy of Fiscal Incentives - The Case of Sales Tax Subsidy", (with V. B. Tulasidhar), Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XXI, No. 41 1986.
12. "Economic and Political Determinants of State Tax Revenues", Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XV, No. 47. 1979.
13. "Ideological Factors, Political Stability, and Tax Revenue Determination", Public Finance/Finances Publiques, Vol. XXXIV, No.3, 1979.
15. "Structural Differences in Municipal Finances in Gujarat", (with A. Sarma), Artha-Vikas, Vol. XII, No. 1, 1976.

Regular Columnist with Business Standard.