October 13, 2020 5:45:54 am
Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal on Monday launched a scathing attack on the Centre for delaying GST compensation to states when he said that the Centre was setting a wrong precedent by bypassing the Constitution of India and Compensation Law in GST.
Speaking at the virtual GST council meet on Monday, Badal said, “We are thus close to setting up some dangerous precedents: Goodbye to Constitution. Goodbye to compensation law. Goodbye to minutes of the council meetings. Goodbye to AG’s opinion.’’
The state has been awaiting Rs 9,000 crore as compensation from the Centre on account of GST.
“Good and bad times come and go for citizens as well as nations. Laws are primarily meant to ensure the correct course of conduct even when there are temptations to deviate from chartered path. As far as Punjab is concerned, our issue is simple. Give us compensation as per law. If a pragmatic change is necessary, get the law amended,” he said.
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Reiterating Punjab’s stand on the Centre borrowing money instead of the states, Badal said, “Unless Centre borrows and credits it to compensation fund, it is not compensation,” he said, adding that the Section 7 requires that compensation must be paid within transition period of five years.
“Some members suggested that those willing may be allowed to go ahead to borrow leaving others to fend for themselves. Is this what Constitution and Compensation Act imagined?” he asked.
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