Punjab has lost about 40 per cent of its revenues after the implementation of the GST, the state’s Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal said on Wednesday. Calling for uniformity in tax rates of petroleum products, he said the issue would be taken up at the meeting of finance ministers of the northern zone on January 19, as states should not be seen as competing with each other.
“I am really concerned about my state. We have lost almost 40 per cent of our revenues,” he told reporters at New Delhi. Badal said he was ready to forego its revenues from additional taxes on petroleum products if there is uniformity in tax rates. On whether all natural gas products should come under the ambit of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), he said his opinion was that it will be better to put petrol and diesel first under GST because not every state is concerned with natural gas.
“Let the whole country have a uniform slab in terms of taxation on petroleum products. Why should Punjab be taxed higher than Haryana and then there is a constant war going on and especially for smaller states,” he said, adding that this leads of inter-state smuggling of products. To a question on whether the Congress party will bring these items within the ambit of GST and whether the states are ready to forgo taxes , Badal said these are things which have to be worked out by all the states sitting together.
“Finance Ministers of North Zone, we are meeting and one of the agenda items when the ministers of North India meet will be that let us have uniformity not only on petroleum products but also in small things like car registration etc,” he said, adding that what one is seeing is people going to neighbouring states to get a car registered.
“So, why states should be competing for revenue?” he asked.