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GST shortfall: Jharkhand opts in, all states now onboard Centre’s borrowing plan

Jharkhand will get Rs 1,689 crore through the special borrowing window to meet the GST implementation shortfall, while it has been permitted to raise an additional Rs 1,765 crore.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi | December 6, 2020 1:16:33 am
The borrowing scheme under a special window was operationalised on October 23 and the Centre has so far borrowed Rs 30,000 crore.

All 28 states and three Union Territories have now accepted option-1 of the borrowing scheme meant to raise money for compensating states for the shortfall in protected Goods and Services Tax (GST) revenue, with the only remaining state Jharkhand accepting it, the Finance Ministry said Saturday.

“Now the State of Jharkhand will also receive funds raised through this window starting from the next round of borrowing. The next instalment of Rs.6,000 crore will be released to the States/UTs on 7th December, 2020,” the Ministry said.

Jharkhand will get Rs 1,689 crore through the special borrowing window to meet the GST implementation shortfall, while it has been permitted to raise an additional Rs 1,765 crore.

The borrowing scheme under a special window was operationalised on October 23 and the central government has so far borrowed Rs 30,000 crore in five instalments. This has been passed on to states and UTs as back-to-back loans. The total borrowing under the scheme is fixed at Rs 1.1 lakh crore, which is the shortfall attributed to GST implementation issues.

Option-1 of the scheme also allows states unconditional permission to borrow the final instalment of 0.5 per cent of gross state domestic product (GSDP) out of the 2 per cent additional borrowings permitted by the Centre. This amounts to a little over Rs 1.05 lakh crore in the current financial year for all states, and is over and above the special window of Rs 1.1 lakh crore.

Initially, about 10 states had been opposed to the scheme on the grounds that they should be compensated fully for shortfall pegged at Rs 1.82 lakh crore, instead of only a portion (Rs 1.1 lakh crore) that is purely due to GST implementation issue without factoring in the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The GST Council had earlier amended the law to extend the tenure of the compensation fund which was to lapse in 2022 — five year since launch of the indirect tax regime.

This collection in the fund beyond 2022 will be used to pay the interest and principal of the loan first, after which the proceeds will go to the states for covering up the unmet shortfall of the current year.

The Centre has estimated Rs 1.1 lakh crore as the GST shortfall for states this fiscal from the level of protected revenue guaranteed to them under the law.

States are assured of a 14 per cent year-on-year growth in GST revenue which is met by their own revenue and any resultant shortfall is compensated from cess funds.

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