Hyderabad: Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday gave a strong retort to the charges of Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and other TRS leaders about the Centre starving Telan-gana state of funds by reducing states’ share in Central taxes and by not releasing the GST amount.
“It was the Finance Commission which red-uced the share of states in the divisible pool of central taxes from 42 to 41 per cent. The share was cut by one per cent because the total number of states has reduced by one and two Union Territories (Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh) were added,” Ms Sitha-raman said while addressing reporters in the city in Telugu. The BJP leader and minister said that the Central government has nothing to do in determining the devolution of taxes.
Responding to the TS government’s claim that it could not release funds to several welfare schemes because of pending GST money, she clarified that according to law, GST compensation was supposed to be released to states every two months from the GST cess.
“Since there was a shortfall in GST cess, the compensation was not released,” she said, adding that other states have also not got the compensation and no discrimination was done to Telangana.
The Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman who was in Hyderabad as part of a series of interactive sessions being organised on the Union Budget with different stakeholders in different parts of the country reiterated that Telangana was one of few states which got 128 per cent more funds during the Modi government.
“In fact, we have also relaxed fiscal deficit norm to allow Telangana government to raise more debt by 50 additional basis points,” a composed finance minister, who has been in news in the recent times for frequently losing her temper, said.
Reacting to IT minister K.T. Rama Rao’s criticism against her for claiming credit for the Centre giving state its rightful share in taxes, Ms Sitharaman wondered if the usage of word “give” is unparliamentary.
“If the state minister has any problem with the usage of word “give”, he should write to the Lok Sabha Speaker requesting him to declare the word as unparliamentary.”