CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Sunday expressed shock over the delay in the release of Rs 4,100 crore of GST compensation to the state and sought the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the matter.
"Shocking that the Centre is delaying the GST compensation amounting to Rs 4100 crore as compensation & arrears to Punjab. Urge PM @narendramodi ji & FM @nsitharaman ji to intervene & solve the problem which has the potential to bring governance of the state to a grinding halt," Singh tweeted.
His remarks come days after Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, along with the finance ministers of West Bengal, Kerala, Delhi and Rajasthan, had appealed to the Union Finance Minister to release the GST compensation without any delay.
On November 20, Badal had attended the meeting of the Empowered Committee of state finance ministers at New Delhi.
In a joint statement, they had said, "GST compensation for the month of August and September, required to be paid by the central government, sometimes in October, continues to be outstanding till date."
"No explanation whatsoever has been furnished for this delay of nearly one-month. As a result, states are facing acute pressure on fiscals, some already resorting to ways and means or even overdrafts," they said.
They had said the GST comprises nearly 60 per cent of the tax revenues of the states. Many states are already facing deficits up to 50 per cent of the total GST.
Such huge deficits have the potential to disrupt the budget and planning processes in a host of areas, bringing activities of the states to a grinding halt.
"The current delay has shaken the confidence of the states who have so far supported the GST in the spirit of rare bonhomie. Despite many challenges from time-to-time, states have extended their support to all the major decisions of the GSTC," they had said.