Regional parties protest over non-payment of GST dues to states

NEW DELHI, Dec 11:
Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Shiv Sena, DMK and Trinamool Congress (TMC) members on Wednesday demanded that the Centre release GST dues to the states and claimed non-payment of money has adversely affected development works.
As soon as the Question Hour commenced in Lok Sabha, TRS members stood up with posters asking for the release of dues related to the Goods and Services Tax (GST). They also raised slogans.
They were joined by members of the TMC and the Sena, an erstwhile ally of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Rajya Sabha proceedings were also adjourned for close to an hour after an uproar by opposition parties over the delay in the release of GST payments to the states.
The issue was raised in Lok Sabha again in afternoon by several leaders of regional parties.
DMK’s T R Baalu said finance ministers of several states have met the Union finance minister demanding their “rightful share” in the GST.
The dues to states have to be released every two month but it has not been done, he said, claiming that Tamil Nadu, where his party is the main opposition, is suffering from “severe cash crunch” after falling in the “debt trap” of over Rs 3.79 lakh crore.
Nama Nageswara Rao of the TRS said the Centre owed a total of Rs 29,891 crore to Telangana under various funds, including Rs 4,531 crore in GST. States are suffering and development work is not being undertaken, he said, demanding that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman should reply.
Shiv Sena’s Vinayak Raut said the Centre had to give Rs 15,558 crore to Maharashtra.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had written to the Centre but the Union government is not taking the matter seriously, he said.
Some state governments have raised concerns regarding compensation on the GST. The states had pegged the pending dues at around Rs 50,000 crore. In this regard, representatives from various states held a meeting with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman earlier this month.
When the GST was introduced from July 1, 2017, the Centre had assured the states through a legislation that the revenue shortfall arising from their taxes being subsumed in the new indirect tax will be compensated fully for the first five years.
But the compensation to the states has not been paid since August. (PTI)