Maharashtra, which contributes the highest to the Centre's GST kitty, has the maximum amount outstanding for the past two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, a RTI reply has revealed.
The revelations came in response to a RTI query filed by activist Binod Agarwal from the Ministry of Finance, Under Secretary (State Taxes-II) and CPIO Mahendra Nath.
State Congress General Secretary Sachin Sawant said that the RTI reply has confirmed what the Maha Vikas Aghadi government has been saying always - that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Centre is adopting a "step-motherly treatment" towards Maharashtra.
According to the RTI response, of the total GST compensation of Rs 277,752 crore due to states from April 2020-March 2021, Maharashtra's share was the highest at Rs 40,398 crore.
From this amount, Rs 21,697.65 crore was released from cess proceeds and another Rs 11,977 crore, leaving an outstanding balance of Rs 6,723 crore to the state.
Similarly, for the period April 2021-July 2021, of the total GST compensation of Rs 111,419 crore due to states, Maharashtra accounted for Rs 15,060 crore, the highest.
From this amount, Rs 13,782.36 crore was by way of back to back loan, and Rs 1,278 crore is still outstanding to the state.
In fact, from April 2019 till November 2021, Maharashtra's dues were Rs 50,374.68 crore, of which it received Rs 11,111.15 crore and Rs 13,782.30 crore as back to back loan, leaving a shortfall of Rs 25,481.23 crore.
In the past couple of years, the MVA government has been continuously pleading with the Centre to release its GST dues and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had shot off a letter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on the same in December 2019, a month after assuming office.
Thackeray met the PM in June to raise the issue along with other pending matters and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and Congress have also raised the matter with the Centre on several occasions.
The ruling Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress leaders, including NCP President Sharad Pawar, have demanded on several occasions that the Centre should expedite the release of the state's GST dues to help it tackle the Covid-19 pandemic and other issues effectively.
In September 2020, Thackeray had slammed the Centre for not giving its GST dues and forcing the state to take loans, and a month later demanded that if the GST system has failed "then the Centre should it" and revert back to the old system.
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