Either fix GST problems or revert to the earlier system: Uddhav Thackeray to Centre

The Centre owed Maharashtra Rs 38,000 cr in GST dues, says chief minister

16-Uddhav Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray| Amey Mansabdar

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray demanded that the government either fix the problems of the GST regime or revert to the earlier system. Thackeray stepped up the attack against his party's former ally as the Centre owed Maharashtra Rs 38,000 cr in GST dues. Other states are complaining as well, Thackeray said. 

“I feel that the GST system has failed, and I appeal to all chief ministers of the country to come forward to discuss this. I feel that the prime minister should accept the lacunae in the GST system honestly, and that it should be amended accordingly. Otherwise, we should revert to the old tax regime that will benefit the states. The country is not the property of one political party,” he said. Thackeray said the time has come to reconsider the present GST system and if necessary, to modify it as states are not benefiting from this system.

There would be anarchy in the country if the BJP remained interested only in toppling governments rather than improving the nation's economy, he added. "Rather than working on improving economy, steps are taken to topple governments. We are heading towards anarchy," he said, adding Shiv Sena was not greedy for power.

With GST revenue falling below expectations due to COVID-induced lockdowns, the Central government had defaulted on transfer of states' shares, irking many state governments. Controversy erupted as the Centre asked the states to directly borrow from the market. However, with opposition from opposition-ruled states like Kerala, Punjab, West Bengal and Maharashtra, the Centre gave in to the demands to borrow and fund the GST compensation shortfall.

Last week, the Centre has borrowed and transferred Rs 6,000 crore as the first tranche of GST compensation shortfall to 16 states and two union territories, including Maharashtra, Gujarat, Bihar, Assam, Delhi and J&K. 

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