NEW DELHI: The CPI(M) on Friday hit out at the government over the shortfall in GST revenues and claimed it was "blaming the heavens" after its "cronyism, incompetence and callousness" destroyed the economy.
The Centre on Thursday placed before the GST Council two options for borrowing by states to meet the shortfall in GST revenues pegged at Rs 2.35 lakh crore in the current fiscal.
Briefing reporters after the 41st meeting of the GST Council, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the economy has been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, which is an 'Act of God', and it will see a contraction in the current fiscal.
"Central government must borrow if need be and pay the states their legitimate dues. Why should the states borrow? 'Cooperative Federalism'? Having destroyed the Indian Economy now looting the states.
Central government must fulfill its mandated responsibility. Transfer to the state governments GST dues.— Sitaram Yechury (@SitaramYechury) August 28, 2020
States cannot be forced to borrow. Central government must borrow and pay the States their legitimate dues.https://t.co/fiNL9ORSdn pic.twitter.com/u2efr1Tzsm
Divine intervention? "A mix of cronyism, incompetence and callousness has failed our people and destroyed their livelihoods and lives well before the pandemic. Blaming the heavens now," CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said in a series of tweets.
As per the Centre's calculation, the compensation requirement by the states in the current fiscal would be Rs 3 lakh crore, of which Rs 65,000 crore is expected to be met from the cess levied in the GST regime.
Hence, the total shortfall is estimated at Rs 2.35 lakh crore.
Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey said of this, Rs 97,000 crore is on account of GST shortfall, while the rest is due to the impact of COVID-19 on the economy.