The Telangana Government will battle for its equal share of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) at the next session of the Parliament and will also take legal action on the matter. Finance Minister Harish Rao announced on Monday that the Government of the State opposes the proposals of the Central Government to reduce GST payments to the Member States. After discussing the issue with finance ministers of other non-BJP ruling states, including Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Kerala and West Bengal, on a video call, Harish Rao told the media that TRS members will fight in Parliament over the issue of GST compensation.
"It is the responsibility of the central government to pay GST compensation in compliance with the Act when the GST collections of the Member States are below 14%," Harish Rao said. Later that day, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao sent the same message to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in a note. Referring to the two options offered by the Centre, Harish Rao said: "In the first alternative, the Center agreed to reduce the amount of GST compensation to States from Rs3 lakh crore to Rs1.65 lakh core. This means that the States will have to forego reimbursement for Rs1.35 lakh crore.
"For the second alternative, the GST Council recommended that the Member States take loans. The second choice, too, is not helpful for Telangana, "he added. The choices of the Central Government are not acceptable to us: Harish Rao. Harish Rao wondered who gave the Center the power to have choices that were not set out in the GST Act. "There is no mention of Covid-19 or any other national calamity in the GST Act. When the GST or IGST sums cease to be surplus, the Center shall deposit the same sum in the Consolidated Fund. If there is a shortfall in the number, the Centre wants the States to increase the loans. It's not reasonable to us. The Center should pay the GST fee to the Member States, "Harish Rao requested "The Center is also talking about the" Act of God, "which is not right," he said. Harish Rao said that the state had entered the GST tax regime in the greater interests of the region.
"Before the GST was introduced, Telangana's growth rate was 22 per cent. If the GST had not been introduced, Telangana would have had an additional revenue of Rs25.000 crore in the last three years, "he said. The loss of revenue to the state amounted to Rs8,000 crore in the last four months due to Covid-19, he said. "The Center should play the role of a great brother and provide liberal assistance to the States," Harish Rao said, indicating that the Center should borrow the money needed and pay full GST compensation to the States.