New Delhi: CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, here on Monday, criticised the Centre for not releasing over Rs 30,000 crore in the goods and services tax (GST) dues. At a time when states needed funds to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, it was “unacceptable”, he said.
“This is unacceptable. States are on the frontline battling the pandemic despite severe fund crunch. Instead of providing them additional funds, even legitimate dues are denied by the Centre,” Yechury tweeted.
The central government reportedly owes around Rs 30,000-34,000 crore to states as the GST compensation for December 2019 and January 2020. The compensation for December-January was supposed to be released by the second week of February.
Many attribute the delay to the Centre’s fund crunch due to the economic slowdown.
On financial situation, Yechury’s party colleague and Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac tweeted, “The RBI reduced the repo rate to 4.4 per cent, but the coupon rate for 15-year Kerala SLR bonds is 8.96 per cent. It’s high time that the government followed the course adopted by all major economies for stimulus — borrow directly from the central bank and for the time being ignore the FRBM rules.”
West Bengal too has been vocal about it. Even Tamil Nadu, ruled by the NDA ally AIADMK, has stressed the need for the Centre to release the money to states as it’s in dire need of funds due to the Covid-19 pandemic.