Borrowings never pushed State into crisis: Balagopal

Borrowings have never pushed Kerala into a dangerous financial situation, Finance Minister K.N. Balagopal said on Monday adding that the State was expecting a favourable decision from the Centre on its borrowing limit.

The Centre had sought certain clarifications and the government was communicating with it in this regard, he told reporters here after releasing the new logo, tagline, and ad campaign of the State Goods and Services Tax (GST) Department.

The Centre was yet to give its nod for market borrowings this fiscal, but had permitted an ad hoc borrowing of ₹5,000 crore for meeting emergency expenses.

Mr. Balagopal referred to a recent National Statistical Office (NSO) report which reportedly listed Kerala as the State with the lowest inflation rate in April, followed by Tamil Nadu. It indicated that the State's policies were on the right track, he said.

The Centre, Mr. Balagopal pointed out, had availed itself of loans to the tune of 6.9% of the GDP last year. Whereas, Kerala had availed itself only 3.4% of the GSDP. Of the total expenditure of ₹39 lakh crore estimated in the Union Budget, borrowings accounted for ₹17 lakh crore, he said.

The Centre's decision to discontinue GST compensation after June would cause a shortfall in State revenue, Mr. Balagopal indicated. ''We are not asking for charity, but the State should be guaranteed its eligible share,'' he said, calling for collective action against central policies that pushed States into such a crisis.

The State GST department would step up investigation as part of curbing tax evasion, Mr. Balagopal said.

The department has come out with a new logo, tagline, and ad campaign as part of launching the 'Lucky Bill' initiative where GST invoices can be uploaded via an app. The department is also offering prizes as an encouragement to traders under this scheme.

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Printable version | Jun 26, 2022 7:04:00 pm |