This article throws light upon the top six examples of boards or commissions in India. The examples are: 1. The Election Commission 2. Finance Commission 3. The Central Board of Direct Taxes Created in 1963 4. The Central Board of Excise and Customs 5. Central Social Welfare Board 6. The Railway Board.
Example # 1. The Election Commission:
The Election Commission is an autonomous body set up by our constitution to ensure fair and impartial election and the country. It comprises Chief Election Commission and such number of commissioners President deems fit.
Presently, it consists of 3 members. Its main job is to conduct elections to the offices of President, Vice President, Parliament and the State Legislature. It prepares electoral roles, recognizes political parties, allots symbols, scrutinizes nomination papers and assess the election expenses.
The commission has acquired prestigious position and has succeeded in creating faith in the minds of Indian people due to its marked integrity and fairness.
Example # 2. Finance Commission:
Article 280 authorizes the Indian President to constitute a Finance Commission within 2 years of the commencement of the Indian constitution and thereafter after every fifth year if considered essential. The commission consists of a chairman and four other members who are appointed by the President.
The commission makes recommendations to the President on two specific matters:
(i) The principles which should govern the grants-in-aid of the revenue of the state,
(ii) The distribution between the union and states of the proceeds of taxes.
So far twelve commissions have been appointed. The 12th commission was constituted twelve November 1, 2002. The Finance Commission is a constitutional instrument which settles complicated financial problems pertaining to Centre and State relationship.
Some other prominent commissions are:
Planning Commission, Union Public Service Commission; National Commission for Scheduled Casts; National Commission of Scheduled Tribes; University Grants Commission and National Commission for Minorities etc.
Example # 3. The Central Board of Direct Taxes Created in 1963:
Comprises chairman and six functional members who formulate policies relating to direct taxes.
Example # 4. The Central Board of Excise and Customs:
It is a statutory body constituted by the Central Revenue Board Act 1963. It is an apex body advising the government on policies governing industrial taxation while directing and controlling indirect tax administration concerning Union Excise and Customs. It consists of a chairman and five other members.
Example # 5. Central Social Welfare Board:
It was set up in August 1953. It promoted social welfare activities and implementer welfare programmes for women, children and the handicapped through voluntary organisations. It has a chairman and 55 members and General body and a 15 member Executive Committee. It was a unique utilization establishment to act in parties participation for implementing welfare programmes.
Example # 6. The Railway Board:
It is the apex body in the railway administration and functions as a Ministry of Railway. It advices the Minister of Railways on all major questions of railways. It is the top executive body for supervising and coordinating the working of zonal railways. It prepares the budget of the railways for sanction of parliament.
It prepares the pay and allowances structures of the staff and maintains a watch on operational performance. Mainly it assists the minister in the performance of his responsibilities.
With the passage of time more and more commissions sprang up viz. national Commission for Women; National Commission for Backward classes; Electricity Regulatory Brands in various states. The commission which are provided in the constitution enjoy constitutional sanctity and are allowed substantial autonomy.
The statutory Boards or certain Commission which are set up by the Acts of Parliament function under the general administrative control of one or more ministers.
They also enjoy somewhat autonomy. However the Boards or Commissions set up by the order of the Executive enjoy fairly less autonomy than conferred on statutory Boards and Commission. Such Boards are generally attached to the concerned ministries or departments who regulate other conduct of business and can abolish them whenever they deem fit.