Hyderabad: Telangana State government has sought immediate release of pending amount of Rs 1,383 crore from the Centre. Finance Minister T Harish Rao submitted a representation to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to this effect, ahead of the GST Council meeting held at Lucknow on Friday. He requested her to ensure release of the amount at the earliest as the new State was strapped for funds.
In his letter, Harish Rao reminded that in 2018-19, IGST (Integrated Goods and Services Tax) amount of Rs 13,944 crore was left unapportioned and retained in the Consolidated Fund of India. Of this, Telangana’s share amounted to Rs 352 crore (4.03 per cent of 50 per cent share amounting to Rs 281 crore and Rs 71 crore as tax devolution). While Rs 142 crore was released through tax devolution, the remaining balance Rs 210 crore has been pending with the Union government.
Similarly, grants amounting to Rs 450 crore per annum (Rs 50 crore each for nine of the then 10 districts of Telangana State) under Section 94(2) of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, which stipulates that the Centre support programmes for the development of backward areas in the State, are pending. The grant for 2019-20 is yet to be released. Since the formation of the State, the number of districts has gone up from 10 to 33. With this, the number of backward districts has gone up from nine to 32. “I request you to extend the period of special assistance for another five years starting from 2021-22. The grants for the year 2019-20 along with the grant for the current year may be released at the earliest,” he said.
Further, Harish Rao stated that the 15th Finance Commission recommended a special grant of Rs 723 crore for the year 2020-21, on the ground that the estimated tax devolution to the State in 2020-21 was lower than that in 2019-20 and that such a decline was not observed in any previous years so far. The grant was denied on the ground that this would set a new precedent. “In the interest of maintaining tradition and sanctity of the Finance Commission recommendations, I am confident that the decision not to give the grant will be reconsidered and the grant released at the earliest,” he added.
During the 45th GST Council meeting which was conducted physically for the first time after 20 months, Harish Rao raised numerous issues pertaining to the State and requested the Council to abolish RCM (Reverse Charge Mechanism) on cotton. He sought a discussion on the issue with other cotton-growing States like Maharashtra and Gujarat as well as a Fitment Committee for fresh view on the issue.
Following concerns raised by him on the proposal to bring petroleum products under GST, Union Finance Minister and GST Council chairperson Nirmala Sitharaman informed that the issue was brought into agenda due to directions of the Kerala High Court and that it was decided to continue with the present status.
Now you can get handpicked stories from Telangana Today on Telegram everyday. Click the link to subscribe.