NK Premachandran and KN Balagopal | Photo: Mathrubhumi
Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala finance minister KN Balagopal on Monday said that the question raised by NK Premachandran in the Lok Sabha regarding the dues of the state in the Goods and Services Tax were factually incorrect.
“Kerala has no dispute with the union government regarding pending GST compensation. Only Rs 750 crore is due in this category. Some people are hiding the real issues by highlighting non-existent complaints," he charged.
“Kerala wants GST compensation to be continued for another five years. Besides, the allocation from the divisible pool for Kerala is a mere 1.95 per cent of the total amount. This alone has cost us Rs 18,000 crore. We must fight the union government policies that cut grants to the state,” he said in a Facebook post.
Opposition leader VD Satheesan had alleged that Kerala lost Rs 25,000 cr in the last five years in IGST due to the mismanagement of the government. Earlier on Monday, Premachandran raised this question in the Lok Sabha and sought the details of the amount allotted to Kerala in IGST in the past five years. Premachandran said the some media reports had quoted an Expenditure Review Committee of Kerala Government to argue that Kerala suffered from IGST.
Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman replied that Kerala has not submitted AG’s authentication since 2017-18 for "GST compensation".
GST compensation is the amount decided by the GST Council to balance the revenue slump due to the imposition of GST. It ends this financial year. IGST, according to the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs, “is a mechanism to monitor the inter-state trade of Goods and services and further to ensure that the SGST component accrues to the consumer state.” The destination state in a trade has the right to get 50 per cent of the GST of that trade.
Though in the question part Premachandran mentioned that he was asking about IGST, in the introduction to his question, he mentioned delay in getting "GST compensation."
After the session, Premachandran told the media that Sitharaman asked a legitimate question that why Kerala is blaming the union government for the mismanagement of the state. He said Kerala is putting extra burden on the people by imposing a cess for fuel and is running away from responsibility by blaming the union government. This irked Balagopal.
Balagopal has clarified that the state has not much pending in GST compensation. However, the dues in the IGST and whether there was an inordinate delay in submitting the mandatory AG’s certificate remain unanswered.