NK Premachandran defends his statement on GST, poses questions for KN Balagopal


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Thiruvananthapuram: UDF MP NK Premachandran on Tuesday said that Kerala finance minister KN Balagopal was misleading the people when he criticised the Kollam MP over his question on GST in parliament.

“My question was regarding the IGST. But Balagopal is now saying that I asked the minister about GST compensation. This is misleading,” the RSP leader said in a Facebook post.

On Monday, while replying to a supplementary question raised by Premachandran in parliament, union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman remarked that Kerala has yet to produce AG’s certificate for the past five years for “GST compensation.” This triggered a controversy in Kerala.

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Premachandran’s questions were regarding IGST. However, in the introduction to the question, the Kollam MP said that the Kerala government was complaining about not receiving "GST compensation."

GST compensation is the amount decided by the GST Council to balance the revenue slump of states due to the imposition of the new tax regime. IGST “is a mechanism to monitor inter-state trade of goods and services.” The destination state in a trade has the right to get 50 per cent of the GST of that trade.

Following the parliament session on Monday, Premachandran lashed out at the Kerala government saying the state was not fulfilling its duty to get compensation and stated that there was no point in blaming the union government.

Later, Balagopal slammed Premachandran for cooking up non-existent issues. “Kerala has no dispute over GST compensation. What we have been saying is that the policy decisions that result in a huge cut for the state in its rightful income must change.”

Premachandran on Tuesday defended his statement and said that the Expenditure Review Committee of the state found that Kerala is losing Rs 5,000 crore per year in IGST.

"A study conducted by the Gulati Institute of Finance and Taxation also mentioned that the union government is showing discrimination in sharing IGST with the states. The major issue, however, is with the sharing of IGST, which is to be shared between the centre and the states through the clearing house mechanism to be facilitated by the GSTN. Besides, I also requested clarity over the union government's decision to reduce the Post Devolution Revenue Deficit Grant allocated by the 15th Finance Commission to the states," he wrote.

Premachandran posed four questions to Balagopal on the matter. The MP asked why the state is not filing AG attested audit statements with the union government and why the Expenditure Review Committee report was not tabled in the Assembly.

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