Bhubaneswar: As the revenue collection has plunged drastically due to ongoing COVID-19 lockdown, the state government Friday demanded that the Centre release Rs 3,500 crore as compensation dues under the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari raised this demand while attending GST Council meeting through video-conferencing mode.
“We have urged the Centre to release Rs 3,500 crore as GST compensation due to the state,” Pujari told the media here.
According to sources, the state government estimated its GST compensation dues, which is paid bi-monthly, at Rs 2,443 crore for the first two months of current fiscal.
In addition, dues pending till March end of the 2019-20 fiscal is Rs 2,151 crore, of which the Centre had released Rs 1,162 crore just few days ago, the sources said.
The Finance Minister has requested the Centre for early release of its dues as further delay would affect its development projects.
The Centre has committed to compensate the states for their loss of revenue after implementation of the GST Act. Under the law, if the states’ GST revenue does not grow by at least 14 per cent over the base year (2014-15), the Centre pays them the difference amount, on a bi-monthly basis for the first five years of implementing the GST Act.
Odisha’s GST revenue collection has decreased by 50 per cent in first two month of the 2020-21 fiscal. The state has collected GST revenue (Odisha Goods and Service Tax+ Integrated Goods and Services Tax) worth only Rs 1,092.24 crore in April and May, 2020, while it had collected Rs 2,187.02 crore in the first two month of the previous financial year.
If the tax collections in April and May are compared, the revenue figure has increased marginally. The OGST collection in May 2020 increased to Rs 440.67 crore from Rs 360.36 crore in April 2020. The total GST collection also increased to Rs 671.92 crore from Rs 420.12 crore. The total VAT collection in the state also increased by nearly Rs 60 crore in May compared to previous month, they said.
“The GST collection was down in April due to the complete COVID-related lockdown. Revenue collection has come down drastically. Other state governments and Centre are also suffering due to the pandemic,” said an official.