New Delhi: Open discussions were held with Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, and the Centre is obliged to pay, alleged state ministers on Wednesday after a prolonged delay over the transfer of money for compensating the losses incurred by Goods and Service Taxes (GST) implementation two years ago.
Finance Ministers and representatives of several opposition-led parties, earlier today, held a meeting with Nirmala Sitharaman to express their concern over the delay in GST compensation that has put them in a state of acute financial crunch.
Representatives from Delhi, Punjab, Puducherry and Madhya Pradesh, as well as Kerala, Rajasthan, Chattisgarh and West Bengal were present at the meeting.
“We discussed that issue with the Finance Minister. Even the compensation for next period (October-November) will be due now, so August-November,” said Punjab Minister Manpreet Singh Badal.
Badal asserted, “We can’t come to Delhi every day, we feel embarrassed. Government is under obligation to pay.”
“The Finance Minister assured us that the compensation will be released as early as possible but she did not specify any timeline, ” he added.
It must be noted that the stated are still awaiting their compensation for the month of August and September, while after December 10, the payment for the period October-November will also be due.
Earlier this week, Sitharaman announced that the GST collection stood at Rs 1.03 lakh crore for the month of November. This recovery in the growth scale has come after a couple of negative months in terms of growth.
Highlighting this availability, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia alleged it is not that compensation fund does not have adequate money. Around Rs 50,000 crore is available through cess collection but the Finance Ministry is violating the codes.
“We thought we will make an appeal to Union Finance Minister (Nirmala Sitharaman) saying that she must personally look into this and not violate the constitutional provisions as passed by Parliament of India,” Sisodia told reporters after the half-an-hour-long meeting.
The recent announcement marked the eighth time since the roll-out of GST in July 2017, that monthly collection has crossed Rs 1 lakh crore. The November 2019 collection was also the third-highest monthly collection, next only to April 2019 and March 2019 collections.