Punjab's GST collection worst in country: Akali Dal

Last Updated: Sat, Nov 30, 2019 14:15 hrs
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Chandigarh: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Friday said the Congress government's performance vis-a-vis GST collection in Punjab was the worst in the country.

Former state Finance Minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa told the media here that it was a matter of record that the state had seen the maximum shortfall of 44 per cent in revenue collection through the Goods and Service Tax (GST) in the first five months of this fiscal.

He said the average countrywide shortfall was only 21 per cent. He said the GST revenue shortfall due to the government's inefficiency and mismanagement had already touched Rs 12,000 crore.

"This is likely to increase to Rs 20,000 crore in the next two years", he said, adding "a financial emergency is truly in the offing in Punjab".

Dhindsa said the likely financial emergency was entirely due to the Congress government's failures on the tax collection front.

"The government has achieved only 34 per cent of the tax targets in the first six months of this year and recorded a 14 per cent shortfall. The situation is worse in the non-planned sector comprising mining, besides others with only 14 per cent of the targeted revenue being collected till now."

The Akali leader also clarified that the government was misleading the people of the state by stating that Rs 4,100 crore was due from the Centre on account of GST compensation.

The actual figure, he said, for two months was only Rs 2,100 crore. "The remaining Rs 2,000 crore is a claim which the Punjab government is seeking under some other head and which has already been denied to it."

He also clarified that the Rs 2,100 crore due was part of the 14 per cent year-on-year compensation promised by the Centre, while doing away with VAT whose average increase was 13 per cent annually.

Pointing out that the state had witnessed zero growth during Congress rule, Dhindsa asked: "What will happen when the Centre does away with GST compensation after another two years?"

Noting that people were paying due to bad financial planning, Dhindsa said development had come to a halt due to lack of tax generation and that this was affecting governance too.