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Losing trust on BJP government at Centre: Mamata Banerjee writes to PM Modi on GST

Losing trust on BJP government at Centre: Mamata Banerjee writes to PM Modi on GST

| @indiablooms | 02 Sep 2020, 03:47 pm

Kolkata/IBNS: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government of betraying the states by not paying the shortfall in Goods and Services Tax (GST).

In the letter, Banerjee said, "This is a travesty and an abrogation of the fundamental basis on which the States gave up 70% (70 per cent) of their taxing powers, including the entire VAT regime to usher in the GST regime. The only condition of giving up all of these powers was the promise of full compensation of shortfall in GST collection for 5 years, on an agreed formula."

Banerjee also referred to India's former Union Finance Minister late Arun Jaitley whose party BJP had earlier opposed the GST regime during the Congress era.

"May I remind you that, not only you, as Chief Minister of Gujarat, opposed the implementation of GST on various grounds, but Late Shri Arun Jaitley also unambiguously and publicly stated, in December 2013, that the sole reason why BJP was opposing the GST implementation is because BJP did not trust the then Government of India in honouring compensation of GST losses to the States!

"Today, his words are ringing in our ears as we are losing trust on the BJP Government in the Centre, in honouring its solemn promise of fully compensating GST losses to the States," the CM said urging PM Modi to intervene into the matter and "rekindle the trust between States and the Centre at the GST Council.."

After meeting the decision-making body for fixing GST policies, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said in late last month, "This year we are facing an extraordinary situation. We are facing an act of God where we may even see a contraction." 

Regarding paying off the dues to the states, Sitharaman stirred a row saying, "Two options were placed before the states. We can facilitate through RBI. States have asked to put us both the options in a detailed form today and give them seven working days, after that they will come back.

"It means we can have a small meeting on GST. We will take a call. Two bi-monthly payments are delayed this year. We want only for this year. The GST Council can look into the payments again in April next year."

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