Amid attack from the opposition-ruled states, the government on Monday released GST compensation worth Rs 35,298 crore to states and union territories. The compensation released by the government is for August and September. The opposition-ruled states were expected to raise the issue in the upcoming GST Council to meet on December 18, 2019. Earlier in the day, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said at a media event that the prospects of improving the GST collections are rising. “I am working with different states on GST and welcome efforts by many of them to push collections,” Sitharaman said. There were reports that the GST rates may be hiked so as to compensate for fall in the collection in the past few months.
The finance ministers and other representatives from different states on December 4, 2019 met finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on several issues including GST compensation. Punjab finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal has already said that the state would move Supreme Court if the central government doesn’t release the pending Rs 4,100 crore GST component. On November 20, five states and union territories namely Kerala, West Bengal, Delhi, Rajasthan, and Punjab, had issued a joint statement on the issue.
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In the April-November period, just above Rs 64,000 were collected by the central government in compensation cess, according to the central government data. In April-July, the government disbursed nearly Rs 48,000 crore, leaving Rs 18,784 crore assuming no payment has yet been made to states for August-September. Meanwhile, the GST collection in November 2019 was Rs 1,03,492 crore. Of this CGST was Rs 19,592 crore, IGST collections stood at Rs 49,028 crore, SGST at Rs 27,144 crore, and cess collection was at Rs 7,727 crore.