“Also, government of India gets a much lower interest on such borrowings by state would be much higher. Furthermore, government of India can raise the resources to service its debt, while the states
simply cannot service huge additional debts when their finances are on the verge of collapse,” the letter further said.
The states are being thrust two unilateral options, both of which require the states to borrow lakhs and crores of rupees, when many of them are unable to pay salaries to their employees and some even default on pensions to their senior citizen employees, she said.
Banerjee joined chief ministers of five other non-BJP-ruled states that have written to the centre
to remind it of its "constitutional" responsibilities in the stand-off over the Rs 2.35 lakh crore shortfall in GST
compensation and financial relief (from the pandemic) due to states, repored NDTV.
Banerjee, Kerala's Pinarayi Vijayan (Kerala), Delhi's Arvind Kejriwal, Tamil Nadu's Edappadi K Palaniswami, Telangana's K Chandrasekhar Rao and Chhattisgarh's Bhupesh Baghel rejected the central governmen't options to compensate for the shortfall in GST
Six states – Kerala, Telengana, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Punjab
and West Bengal
– had a video conference meeting on Monday to chalk out a strategy while some wrote to the Prime Minister and Union Finance Minister expressing disapproval on the options proposed by the Centre.
Banerjee urged the Prime Minister to rekindle the trust between the Centre and states at the GST Council
– a trust held for over three years and 40 meetings of the Council despite occasional differences on merits, cutting across party lines.
She also reminded that when the consensus was arrived at between all the finance ministers of the country across political parties and the Centre that Parliament shall compensate the states for five years, there was no legalistic approach taken by bringing in AG (Attorney General), since it was a matter of trust with full cooperation between the states and the Centre.
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