Opposition-led states have approached the Centre for goods and services tax (GST) beyond the stipulated period till 2023 or 2024 in light of the coronavirus.
Finance ministers of states including Kerala, West Bengal, Punjab and Delhi highlighted the cash requirement during the video conference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 27, said a report by The Economic Times.
The ministers said that the funding would be utilised as aid for MSMEs and service sectors impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Badal said as per the report that while due compensation should be given, the GST Council should also “borrow and let the compensation continue for a year or two after 2022 also, which can be collected later.”
Kerala and Delhi also spoke for additional funds during the meet, while West Bengal said it had only received “inappreciable amount” and pushed for pending GST dues to be cleared immediately. West Bengal also wrote to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, seeking a CSR tag for donations given to the state chief minister’s relief fund.
The issue was supposed to be raised at a separate GST Council meeting which was cancelled due to the lockdown. The states have planned to take up the matter with the Centre individually as well.
State GST compensation is pending since December 2019, after the centre paid off the second tranche of the Rs 34,053 crore of October and November 2019 dues in early April.