TN got just 29 paise for every rupee given to centre, says Thennarasu

We gave Rs 1K Pongal gift despite facing a crisis, but what has centre done for TN, asks Stalin
TN Finance Minister Thangam Thennarasu. (File Photo | P Jawahar, EPS)
TN Finance Minister Thangam Thennarasu. (File Photo | P Jawahar, EPS)

CHENNAI: The union government has not done anything to ease Tamil Nadu’s financial burden and has different yardstick for devolving funds to states, Finance Minister Thangam Thennarasu told reporters at the secretariat on Friday. Thennarasu reiterated his earlier charge that for every single rupee given to the centre, the state got back only 29 paise, but this ratio was different for BJP-ruled states.

MK Stalin
MK Stalin

He was responding to the remarks made by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday that the centre had devolved more funds to Tamil Nadu than what was received from the state as taxes. In a post on social media platform X, Chief Minister MK Stalin referred to Thennarasu’s reply and said, “Despite facing a crisis, the Dravidian model government is extending Pongal gift of Rs 1,000 to ration card holders to celebrate the festival. We are also implementing schemes like free bus ride for women, Rs 1,000 under the Pudhumai Penn scheme and Rs 1,000 for women heads of families. What has the union government, which is duty bound to protect the interests of states, done for people of Tamil Nadu?”

Talking to reporters, Thennarasu said that between 2014-15 and 2022-23, the centre gave Rs 4.75 lakh crore to Tamil Nadu, including tax share of Rs 2.46 lakh crore and a subsidy of Rs 2.28 lakh crore. At the same time, direct tax collections accounted for Rs 6.23 lakh crore. During the same period, the BJP-ruled states were given Rs 15.35 lakh crore for providing Rs 2.23 lakh crore to the Centre, Thennarasu said, adding Uttar Pradesh was an example. He also said Sitharaman did not say anything about indirect taxes.

On Sitharaman’s claim that money obtained as cess and surcharge from Tamil Nadu was given back to the state for development, Thennarasu said, “The union government continues to receive additional funds through cess and surcharge. In 2011-12, cess and surcharge tax ratio stood at 10.4% and went up to 28.1% in 2021-22. This increase indicates that the legitimate share of cess and surcharge has come down for Tamil Nadu.”

Thennarasu also charged that despite repeated requests from Tamil Nadu, the centre refused to extend the GST compensation period beyond June 2022. Stating that union ministers have been reiterating that the centre had given back double the tax amount received from Tamil Nadu, Thennarasu said, “We have to take into account how the value of money has come down.”

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