New Delhi: Finance ministers and representatives of opposition-ruled states on Wednesday met Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and expressed their displeasure over delay in release of GST compensation which has put them in an acute financial position.
The finance ministers of Delhi, Punjab, Puducherry and Madhya Pradesh and representatives from Kerala, Rajasthan, Chattisgarh and West Bengal attended the meeting.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal said that compensation for August and September has not been released to states.
"We discussed the issue with the Finance Minister. Even the compensation for next period (October-November) will be due now. The government is under obligation to pay,” he said.
“We are facing issues. We can't close jails, schools and hospitals. We need to pay pensions. We can't come to Delhi every day. We don't feel good and feel embarrassed. Those who ask for money are not taken seriously,” reports quoted Badal as saying.
"The Finance Minister assured us that the compensation will be released as early as possible, but she did not specify any timeline," he added.
So far, states have not got compensation for the month of August and September. Compensation for the period October-November will also be due after December 10.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said it is not that compensation fund does not have adequate money. It has around Rs 50,000 crore, added.
"We thought we will make appeal to Union Finance Minister (Nirmala Sitharaman) saying that she must personally look into this and not violate the constitutional provisions as passed by Parliament of India," Sisodia said after half-an-hour-long meeting.