Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said GST claims of state governments will be cleared once she gets relevant papers along with a certificate from their respective accountant generals. She also said in Lok Sabha that the central government is committed to pay all Goods and Services Tax (GST) compensation to states and has been doing so continuously for the last five years.
The respective accountant general (AG) has to provide a certificate that the particular state has to get this much of compensation, the finance minister said. “If there is a delay in the AG certified claim from states, obviously that (GST compensation) is pending. So, when the AG certificate along with the state’s claim comes, at that moment the money will also get released,” she said during the Question Hour.
From the central government’s side, it is up to date, and whatever money it gets as cess, is distributed among states, Sitharaman said. “We are up to date on all claims that came from states, which were approved by the respective AG. We have paid all,” she said. Sitharaman said if the AG has not cleared the claims of states, the state governments should expedite that. “The moment I get it, I will clear that,” she said.
Many state governments believe that their GST compensation is pending, and these are pending as the central government needs the necessary papers as the money belongs to the taxpayers, Sitharaman said.”The moment I receive the papers, the AG certification, even if there is a contention between the Centre and a state, it has to be sorted out. I cannot be sitting on somebody’s money,” she said.
Sitharaman said differences with states can be sorted out when officials of the central and state governments sit together. The minister said half of the GST compensation for June has already been cleared while the rest would be given once adequate cess is collected
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