Centre has not released Rs 27K cr IGST dues of states: Amit Mitra

KolkataAmit Mitra, principal chief advisor to the West Bengal chief minister, Thursday charged that the Centre has not released Integrated Goods and Services Tax dues to the tune of Rs 27,000 crore to states, and claimed if this had been cleared, the money would have bolstered the country’s economic growth.

Mitra, who was the former finance minister of the state, asserted that Bengal’s growth story has nevertheless remained intact and claimed the state’s GST growth in 2021-22 was 23 per cent.

Referring to an earlier statement by West Bengal BJP chief Sukanta Majumdar that Centre has paid its GST dues and the state should now cut its taxes on fuel, Mitra said, “The BJP state president should know the facts. The Centre is depriving states of IGST dues of Rs 27000 crore.”

He claimed “the disbursement of the dues would have boosted the economy and demand in the country, which would have in turn repaired the supply chain that has collapsed due to wrong macroeconomic policies of the Centre”, at a virtual press conference held here.

IGST is one of the three components of the Goods and Services Tax and is levied whenever there is an inter-state transfer and supply of goods or services.

“Where is federalism? The Centre must clear the state’s financial dues,” he said

Majumdar had earlier in the day demanded that the state government give some relief to people by reducing fuel prices as the Centre has cleared GST dues worth Rs 6,521 crore to it.

The BJP would wait for 15 days, and if the state does not take any steps, it would hit the streets, Majumdar had warned.

“If they don’t reduce the fuel prices, we will hit the streets. We will also march to state secretariat Nabanna to fight for people’s rights,” he said.

On Tuesday, the union finance ministry had said that the Centre has cleared the entire GST compensation payable till date by releasing Rs 86,912 crore to the states. Of this Rs 25,000 crore was released from the GST compensation fund and the balance of Rs 61,912 crore from the Centre’s own resources pending collection of cess.

“In April and May, the first two months of the current fiscal year, the GST collection in Bengal has grown by 19.23 per cent against the protected rate of 14 per cent. Mr Majumdar should know the facts,” Mitra said.

Mitra attributed the rise to all-round development in West Bengal due to the state government’s demand-led policies that helped the manufacturing, agriculture and services sector to flourish. “These led to healthy GST collection,” he said.

Speaking about adverse financial situations in some states, he claimed, “We (Bengal) are in better shape. The GST collection is one of the major barometers.”

Also read: Cut taxes on fuel in 15 days: BJP threatens protests in West Bengal

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