Punjab CM Amarinder Singh on GST compensation: I was in ‘complete shock and dismay’

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said that he is in complete shock and dismay after the central government refused to pay the GST compensation, through an email interview with Shantanu Nandan Sharma.

IS: The Print

Upon being questioned about his reaction when he knew he wouldn’t receive the GST compensation, he wrote through an official email:

“Complete shock and dismay. That was my initial reaction, and that is what I still feel. Is this the way the central government is supposed to behave in a federal polity amid a pandemic? With all other revenue sources drying up, we were banking on receiving our constitutionally guaranteed GST compensation, as I am sure other states were.

But the Centre took this highly unreasonable and appalling decision, without consulting us. Should they not have asked us how we are managing amid COVID and how we are going to combat the crisis? They say we can borrow. But the fact is the option of availing a loan against the promised dues simply amounts to shifting the burden from their shoulders and passing it on to the states.”

Given the pandemic crisis, Central Government has decided to provide an additional borrowing limit up to 2% of GSDP for the states in 2020-21, over and above the standard 3% of GSDP in a given financial year through market borrowings, announced CM while replying to a question.