Mumbai: Demanding the Centre to immediately reimburse the Goods & Services Tax (GST) dues of various states, the Shiv Sena on Saturday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of attempting to gobble up the states' GST earnings.
The GST is needed for developmental schemes, for providing essential services to the people, and the Centre's "army of thugs (thug-sena) cannot enjoy" with the states' resources, or it will lead to a aconfrontation", said the Sena.
The Citizenship Amendment Act has been opposed by north-eastern states, and now if attempts are made to deprive the states' GST dues, then it could lead to a new "Centre versus states" conflict, cautioned the Sena.
Taking cudgels on behalf of various non-BJP states, the Sena said that while Maharashtra has to get Rs 15,558 crore, there are huge amounts due to other states like Telangana (Rs 4,531 crore), Delhi (Rs 2,355 crore) Punjab (Rs 2,100 crore), Kerala (Rs 1,600 crore) and West Bengal (Rs 1,500 crore).
"The Centre's arbitrary functioning has created economic chaos in the country and even the states have to bear the brunt. When GST was being implemented, the Centre had given evasive replies and brushed aside all apprehensions of the states. Now, the states' fears are proved true," the Sena said in sharp edits in the party mouthpieces, 'Saamana' and 'Dopahar Ka Saamana'.
Despite promises that all losses would be compensated, the Centre has actually spelt doom for the finances of states, various public sector undertakings (PSUs) and is unable to clear the states' GST dues of around Rs 50,000 crore.
It pointed out that the PM's frequent foreign trips by Air India also cost the exchequer and failure to clear the dues have pushed the national carrier on the threshold of closure.
Over that, the Centre is planning to sell of a profitable company like BPCL, so it is now doubtful whether the states' GST dues will ever come, rued the Sena.
"If the Centre attempts to cheat Maharashtra of its legitimate dues of Rs 15,558 crore, it would amount to a betrayal of the state's farmers and workers," the Sena said.
Targeting Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the Sena said that she has said the Centre will fulfil its commitment of ploughing back the GST dues as promised by her predecessor in 2017.
"Due to economic slowdown, the GST collections in states have been falling. The country's GDP is falling, but figures are being fudged to present a rosy picture. Stock markets are being used to gamble with the country's economy," the Sena said.
"As the GST dues are not cleared for the past four months, many states are staring at a financial crises, affecting their salary bills, development programmes. But the ruling party seems to have unlimited resources to fight the elections and 'buy' its way to power," said Sena.
The Sena's edit came barely four days after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray wrote to Sitharaman demanding the states' GST and IGST dues.