Speaking ahead of Monday’s Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council meeting, West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra on Friday refuted the argument that the Council lacked the authority to vote on the issue of borrowing as the loan options were conveyed to states by the Council secretariat.
At the earlier meeting on October 5, at least 10 states insisted the Centre should borrow to compensate states for revenue shortfall.
Mitra said the Council has to find a way to reach consensus, but didn’t explicitly rule out voting. He said the Centre was consistently shifting the goalpost on the special window to be provided for states if they choose to borrow under ‘option 1’ of the proposal.
“Written text on the proposal says a special window would be provided for borrowing, but Expenditure Secretary has said that only a letter of comfort could be worked out. Who are we to believe,” Mitra questioned.
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