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May move SC if Centre fails to release GST dues: Punjab finance minister

Manpreet, along with his counterparts of West Bengal, Kerala, Delhi and Rajasthan, will meet Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman over the issue next week
Press Trust of India | By Press Trust of India, Chandigarh
PUBLISHED ON NOV 30, 2019 11:39 PM IST

Punjab finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal on Saturday said they may approach the Supreme Court if the Centre fails to release the Goods and Services (GST) compensation to the state.

Chief minister Amarinder Singh had last week expressed shock over the delay in the release of 4,100 crore to the state. The compensation for August and September is yet to be paid even as Manpreet, along with his counterparts of West Bengal, Kerala, Delhi and Rajasthan, will meet Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman over the issue next week.

“We will demand either the GST compensation or formation of a dispute resolution mechanism over the issue. Else, the states have the option to approach the SC for any dispute with the Centre,” he said talking to the media in Chandigarh.

The minister asserted the disbursement of the compensation to states by the Centre could not be denied. “We are not beggars. Earlier, the compensation was paid every month, which was discontinued. Later, the disbursement was made after every two months. Now, three months have passed. Our 4,100 is yet to be received from the Centre,” he said.

“Despite promising that the compensation would be released to the state, it is being delayed. 4,100 crore is not a small amount. Around 2,000 crore per month is our salary bill,” said Manpreet.

On low growth in state’s internal resources, he blamed the recession in the country for it. “It is not Punjab only, tax mobilisation of the government of India is also low. We are matching the national growth. Against other states’ four per cent GST collection, Punjab’s growth in mobilisation was at 10 per cent,” he said.

He blamed the previous SAD-BJP regime for agreeing to subsuming of 23% of revenue coming from taxes on foodgrains for the GST implementation.

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