Expressing concern over revenue shortfall, Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal Thursday said the GST collections in the state are not picking up and the state is facing a revenue gap of 37 per cent following the roll out of the new indirect tax regime. Besides Punjab, several other states like Himachal Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Odisha, Goa, Bihar, Gujarat and Delhi are facing revenue shortfall post the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST). Among the union territories, Puducherry is facing a maximum shortfall of 43 per cent.
Talking to reporters after the meeting of the GST Council here, Badal said revenues are a source of concern as the indirect tax collection by the state is less than what was being collected 2 years back. “Pre-GST, we had taxes on foodgrain and that was 40 per cent of our base. When a state loses 40 per cent of its tax base, it faces huge revenue shortfall. We are facing a shortfall of 37 per cent,” Badal said. He said GST revenues are not going up and “that is our concern”. The central government has released Rs 48,202 crore as GST compensation to states during April-November 2018, higher than the Rs 48,178 crore paid in the previous financial year.
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) was rolled out on July 1, 2017. As per the GST law, the Centre compensates states to ensure that their revenue is protected at the level of 14 per cent over the base year tax collection in 2015-16. The GST Council in its earlier meeting on December 22, 2018, had decided to set up a ministerial panel, which along with assistance from think tank NIPFP, would study the revenue data of states. Andhra Pradesh and five north eastern states — Mizoram, Andhra Pradesh, Manipur, Sikkim and Nagaland are showing revenue increase post the GST roll out. Thursday’s meeting of the GST Council did not discuss the issues concerning revenue shortfall being suffered by the states.