Delhi Finance Minister Manish Sisodia alleged that the Centre has “refused” to pay GST compensation to states, which he termed as the “biggest betrayal” in the history of federalism in India.
Addressing a press conference shortly after attending the GST council meeting on Thursday, Sisodia said due to Delhi’s unique administrative structure, it cannot even borrow money from the RBI to meet the shortfall.
“When GST was rolled out, states were promised that we would be given compensation for the next five years at the rate of 14 per cent. But the Centre is now refusing to pay, citing the situation created by Covid-19… This is the biggest betrayal of the Central government in the history of federalism in India,” Sisodia, who is also the Deputy Chief Minister, said.
The Delhi government is staring at a revenue shortfall of Rs 21,000 crore in the ongoing financial year, Sisodia said. “The Centre gave an option to states that in case they need compensation, they can borrow from the RBI. But due to the unique status of Delhi, our government cannot take a loan. They are showing double-standards with the people of Delhi,” he said.
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“The central government should take a loan on our behalf as we also need to pay salaries to our doctors, teachers, engineers and other employees,” Sisodia said, adding that he was not against the idea of GST, but the Centre’s way of implementing it.
Sisodia said that at the meeting, many BJP-led states also demanded compensation from the Centre.
“In the first two years when the central government earned extra cess of Rs 47,000 crore, which was supposed to be given as compensation, they kept it in their fund… Today, if GST would have not been there, we would have been able to define our taxes…manage our expenses on our own…,” he said.
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