Crucial GST Council meet today
The GST Council is scheduled to meet in Delhi this afternoon, after a long break. The meeting, though will be held in virtual platform, is likely to generate enough heat with the states insisting on the Centre releasing their share for this season.
The states have suffered heavily this year with the corona virus and the subsequent lockdown.
According an unofficial estimate, the states have lost over Rs 2.35 lakh crore as the Centre did not release the same. In fact, when the states insisted on the devolution of the GST share to them, the Centre had washed off its hands saying that “the Act of God” (covid lock down) had to be blamed and the Centre too suffered economically.
However, the Centre had advised the States to go for Rs 2.35 lakh crore loan from the RBI or go for external borrowing at their convenience. Some states have agreed for this proposal, including Andhra Pradesh, while other states are insisting on the Centre to give their share from the Centre’s exchequer.
The Central government is unwilling to give financial support to the states or any other sector, except extending some sops to the industrial sector. The AP government was better this way as it had extended financial support to the MSMEs and even individuals, besides the small time auto and cab drivers. The AP government had also extended some financial benefit to the white ration card holders during the lockdown.
The AP, which has the financial burden of revenue deficit from the time of its bifurcation, looks towards the Centre for help. Though the Central government was expected to fill the revenue deficit after the bifurcation, it did not do so due to political differences between the Centre and the State in the first five years. Now, with the change of guard in the state and the state government is having friendly relationship with the Centre, it is now to be seen what steps that the Centre would take to bail out the AP.
Chief Minister Jaganmohan Reddy is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi a day after the GST Council meet and it is to be seen what would come out after this long-awaited meeting.