Will Discuss With Like-minded Ministers About Moving SC Over GST Compensation, Says Kerala FM
Kerala finance minister Thomas Isaac.
Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Finance Minister Dr TM Thomas Isaac said he will put up a proposal before other finance ministers on the possibility of approaching the Supreme Court to enforce the rights of states in terms of GST compensation.
Isaac said, “If the GST Council is not able to come to a solution, then the states should move together to SC. I am putting this proposal before other ministers.
“Even before the next GST Council, I will discuss with like-minded finance ministers about the possibility of approaching SC to enforce state rights; something that has been guaranteed by Constitution and very clearly laid down by the law passed by Parliament.”
The minister added that the compensation arrears pending are about Rs 40,000 crore.
Speaking to the media, he also said Kerala's public borrowing, compensation payment for GST and central share of taxes has been drastically reduced by the Centre for the last quarter.
Isaac added that the state did not receive any monetary compensation from the Centre after 2019 floods.
“After 2019 floods, for some strange reason, Kerala was left out. In the press release, no rationale was given for this decision. Some media reports said this was done as Kerala has balance from 2018. This is true because a major part of the expenditure is on construction of houses and roads; all of which are on but payment can be given only when construction is over. The Centre could have allocated funds and given it only after this was used.”
He added that the reasons may be partly political.
“Kerala is not only standing up on the side of secularism but also pushing an alternative agenda for economic development. Kerala’s opposition to central policies is much more comprehensive. So I think there may be some animosity,” the minsiter said, adding that he will write to the Centre and try to meet FM Nirmala Sitharaman.