On being questioned regarding higher dues for non-BJP states, the Finance Minister stated that there is a formula for payment of dues in place and such formula cannot be tweaked by any individual.
The GST Council is a federal body in which every finance minister from every state deliberates and we should not politicize it as it amounts to an insult to the Council, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in the Rajya Sabha.
During the question hour, NCP leader Vandana Chawan alleged that the GST compensation dues are higher for non-BJP ruled states. Responding to this, the finance minister stated that the dues are paid as per a formula worked out by the Council and it cannot be disturbed by any individual.
“There is a formula which has been in place since the time the GST has been implemented. Even the way in which the back-to-back loan is being taken and distributed by the Centre but through the public account is also something which the GST Council has deliberated in three council meetings,” she said.
“I humbly submit and appeal through you that for a body like GST Council in which every Finance Minister from every state sits in and takes a call, it’s a collective decision of the GST Council. I appeal through you that we don’t need to politicize this. No individual has the right to tweak the formulation.”, she further added.
“Therefore, there is no differentiation made on the basis of this party or that party. It’s an insult to the GST Council, which is a federal body in which every state has its own finance minister sitting and deliberating,” Sitharaman said.
“So, I would humbly appeal through you that we do not politicise this distribution,” she said, adding that arrears are given to states and there is no differentiation and is done as per formula given.
“The amount given for 2021-22 is determined as per the formula and the amount paid as mentioned for the states mentioned by the member for these states is higher than other states”, she said, asking, “Would the member recognize that”.
Goods and Services Tax Council, a joint forum of centre and the states, has been constituted by the President as mandated by Article 279A of the Constitution of India, as amended by the 101st Amendment to the Constitution.
Article 279A(2) of the Constitution of India provides the composition of the council, that is, the Union Finance Minister, Minister of State of Finance, and Finance Minister from every state.