NEW DELHI/CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu on Friday urged the Centre to release outstanding dues of over Rs 20,000 crore pending to the state, saying the Covid-19 outbreak has necessitated additional expenditure to the government towards upgrading the health infrastructure in the state.
Chief Minister M K Stalin, who is on an official visit to New Delhi, submitted a memorandum to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, highlighting the pending dues, including GST compensation.
The dues from the Centre amount to Rs 20,860.40 crore of which the GST Compensation was Rs 13,504.74 crore, he said in the memorandum.
Tamil Nadu was facing 'severe financial stress' despite easing of the covid-19 situation at present, as the revenues have been badly affected due to the pandemic, he said.
"The pandemic necessitated the State to incur additional expenditure towards upgrading health infrastructure, medical equipment, drugs and also implement welfare schemes for the vulnerable sections of the populace", he said.
Among the dues, he said the Goods and Services Tax Compensation arrears from the Ministry of Finance was the highest at Rs 13,504.74 crore.
He said the state government was yet to receive Rs 2,203.25 crore for the custom milled rice subsidy from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.
The school education department was yet to receive the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan grant of Rs 2,109.08 crore from the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
Stalin also made a requested the Finance Minister to extend the GST compensation period, stating Tamil Nadu would face a revenue loss of approximately Rs 20,000 crore.
During the introduction of GST in July 2017, Tamil Nadu accepted to forego its fiscal autonomy with an assurance from the Centre that the revenues of the state would be protected, he said.
"In the last five years, there has been a wide gap between the actual revenues realised and the protected revenues guaranteed. This trend was visible even before the pandemic and the gap has been increasingly wide ever since", he said.
Stalin said the GST Compensation period was ending on June 30, 2022 and Tamil Nadu would face a revenue loss of approximately Rs 20,000 crore in the coming financial year.
"We urge the Union government to extend the period of compensation by at least two years beyond June 2022", he said.