Subramanian Swamy
Subramanian Swamy
Photo Credit: PTI

BJP MP Subramanian Swamy on Friday rubbished Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's comment of coronavirus pandemic being "Act of God" and wondered why GDP was low before COVID-19.

Taking to Twitter, Subramanian Swamy wrote: "I am reliably informed that FM N. Sitharaman told a meeting that COVID-19 is an act God!! I will post the video soon. Was the decline in annual growth rate in GDP from 8 % in FY 15 to (1st Qtr 2020) 3.1 % pre-C0VID, also an act of God?"

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday referred to COVID-19 pandemic as an "act of God" and said there could be contraction of the economy. Sitharaman, who spoke to reporters through video conference after 41st meeting of GST Council, said the two options for compensating states on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to bridge revenue shortfall, will be available only for this year, reported news agency ANI.

"This year we are facing an extraordinary situation. We are facing an act of God where we may even see a contraction of the economy," she said.

The Centre on Thursday gave two options for compensating states on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to bridge revenue shortfall as the economy faces a prospect of contraction in the current fiscal year due to the COVID-19 crisis.

The first option provides a special window to states in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to provide Rs 97,000 crore at a reasonable rate of interest. This money can then be repaid after five years from the collection of cess. The second option is that the entire GST compensation gap of Rs 2.35 lakh of this year can be met by states in consultation with the RBI.

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