Confirming in Maharashtra Assembly that the Bharatiya Janta Party(BJP)-led central government has yet not paid GST dues to the State government, Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari said on Monday that the State was waiting for ₹29,290 crore payment from the Centre.
“By the end of February 2021, out of the ₹46,950 crore due to my Government as Goods and Services Tax Compensation, the Central Government has paid just ₹6,140 crore and ₹11,520 crore as loan for Goods and Services Tax compensation. Goods and Services Tax Compensation to the tune of ₹29,290 crore is overdue from the Central Government,” Mr. Koshyari said in his address to the joint session of the legislature on the first day of the Budget session.
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, who holds the Finance portfolio, has been repeatedly saying that the Centre has not paid the compensation that is due. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray too has raised the issue several times.
Mr. Koshyari said that the lockdown due to spread of novel coronavirus has slowed down the State’s economy in addition to a medical emergency and natural calamities. “Out of the revenue collection target of ₹3,47,456 crore, the State has collected just ₹1,88,542 crore at the end of January 2021. This is 35% less than the budgetary estimate and 21% lower than the collection in the same period in the previous year,” he said.
The Governor praised the State government’s ‘My family, my responsibility’ health campaign to tackle the pandemic saying this had helped create a health map. Citing the example of Dharavi where COVID-19 was successfully contained, Mr. Koshyari said that Maharashtra was the first State to erect temporary jumbo corona hospitals in record time. “My Government took several measures for control and management of the COVID-19 pandemic which have become a model for the rest of States and even in other countries,” he said.
Mr. Koshyari said despite a significant reduction in revenue, the State has provided priority funding to the departments of Public Health, Medical Education and Drugs, Relief and Rehabilitation, Food and Civil Supplies and Home during the pandemic. “To stimulate the economy, my Government has provided for 75% of the budgetary provision for capital expenditure and released 100% money to the Local Development Fund, DPC schemes and Dongri Vikas Karyakram,” he said. The government, he added, was pursuing with the Centre for increasing the grant in aid receivable, in accordance with the recommendations of the Central Finance Commission, and is also seeking an increase in the Centre’s contribution in Central schemes.