The extension of lockdown will further worsen the state’s finances. The steep fall in GST collection in April is likely to continue in May as well. The GST collection this April was around Rs 400 crore when compared to Rs 1,951.66 crore in the corresponding period last year. Finance Minister Thomas Isaac has demanded that the Centre release the pending GST payments urgently. The government will mobilise Rs 1,000 crore through open market this week.
This will be utilised for the salary and pension payment which comes to around Rs 3,900 crore. On Saturday, Isaac told media persons that central assistance was imperative for the state to meet its regular expenses and fund Covid-19 control measures. Earlier, a preliminary estimate by the government had found that the Kerala economy would suffer losses between `80,000 and Rs one lakh crore due to the lockdown.
This figure will go up with the latest extension. The first monthly share from the central taxes and duties in this fiscal was much lower than the state’s expectation. The centre sanctioned Rs 894.53 crore as against the state’s expectation of Rs 1,269.72 crore. As per the Union Budget, the “shareable central taxes” for the state was Rs 1,5236.64 crore, which means Rs 1,269.72 crore a month. Various states had asked the centre to sanction the monthly amount as per the Budget figure and to do away with the adjustment in the fiscal end to match the actual collections.