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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Gehlot says Centre making states financially weaker

CM extends support to Mamata’s call against BJP’s ‘one-party authoritarian rule’

By: Express News Service | Jaipur |
April 2, 2021 2:02:39 am
Ashok Gehlot, Narendra Modi, Mamata Banerjee, Rajasthan CM, West Bengal CM, West Bengal elections, Rajasthan news, West Bengal news, india news, indian expressRajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. (File)

Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the Centre’s economic policies, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday charged that the central government was making states financially weaker.

Gehlot on Thursday extended support to Trinamool supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, days after she wrote to Opposition leaders asking them to unite against the BJP’s “one-party authoritarian rule” and proposing that they chart a plan of action after the on-going polls.

Taking to Twitter, Gehlot said, “West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta ji has written a letter to all Opposition parties. What she has said about the Centre withholding the funds of the states, I had raised this in the Assembly earlier, on the way Centre is giving a step motherly treatment to the states.”

“On one hand, the Prime Minister speaks of cooperative federalism, but on the other, the states are being weakened economically. The state is also not getting the full share in GST from the Centre,” the CM said.

In documents shared through his Twitter handle, he said that the NDA government has had a tendency to impose cess and surcharge and shrink the divisible pool.

“Under the 13th Finance Commission, the share of cess and surcharge in Centre’s revenue tax was 12.9 per cent, which has now increased to 18.3 per cent. This has limited the share of central taxes to just 81.7 per cent. The actual share of states in the divisible pool has reduced from 41 per cent to just 34 per cent,” the document read.

He said that simultaneously, non-divisible pool has been increased while decreasing state’s shares. “For example, additional excise/special excise/cess has been imposed on petrol diesel while basic excise duty has been decreased,” he said.

The CM said that as per 14th Finance Commission recommendations, states’ share in central tax revenue was increased from 32 per to 42 per cent. However, this has been negated by the Union government by increasing the state’s shares in Centrally Sponsored Schemes much more than the benefits which could result from an increase in states’ shares in revenue taxes. The CM also attached a list of schemes showing the change in share of their burden between states and the Centre.

Additionally, the CM said that the Centre is further changing the sharing patterns by imposing a cap and putting additional financial burden on the states. As example, he cited how, under Ayushman Bharat-Mahatma Gandhi Rajasthan Swasthya Bima Yojana (AB-MGRSBY) the Centre and state have a 60:40 share. However, Centre has capped premium at Rs 1,052 per family, which has limited Centre’s share to just 37 per cent, down from 60 per cent, while state’s share has increased from 40 per cent to 63 per cent.

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