NEW DELHI : Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said GST compensation to some states is delayed as they failed to produce AG’s authenticated certificate, which is mandatory. She said Kerala has not sent even a single such certificate since 2017-18.
Replying to a supplementary question in Lok Sabha, she said that Rs 86,912 crore has been released for GST compensation payable to all states up to May 31, 2022. She said, as per law, GST Council decides to whom the compensation is to be released, not the Centre.
“AG’s certification is mandatory between the Centre, states and the AG (accountant general),” she said. If there is any delay in getting the AG’s authentication, it is a matter between the AG and the state government concerned, and they have to sort it out, she said.
“If there is a problem between them, the certificate gets delayed in reaching the Central government,” she said. To get compensation, state governments have to do a lot more, she said.
“The state governments have to, pardon me using the word, be efficient to sort out things with the AG. But without AG’s certificate, beyond a certain limit, it is very difficult for me to go,” she said.
Referring to Kerala, the minister said post GST induction, Kerala has not sent AG certificate for GST compensation for 2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20, 2020-21. She said Kerala has not sent the AG certificates even for one year for getting compensation dues. She urged N K Premachandran, MP, (who asked the supplementary question) to sit with the state government and request it to send the AG certificates in one go.
Within a reasonable time, after receiving them, the dues will be cleared, the minister said. “You have not sent (the AG certificate) even for one year and you keep blaming us that we are not giving you money on time. On the contrary, in the matter of tax devolution, as per the Finance Commission report, two instalments, instead of one, have gone to all states. Kerala has also benefited from that,” she said.