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Post GST, state lost 40% revenue: Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal

New Delhi, January 18: Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal said on Wednesday that Punjab had lost 40 per cent of its revenue after the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax regime adding that the government could have prepared better for its rollout and saved these losses to states.

Ahead of the GST Council meeting here tomorrow, Manpreet said the Congress would argue for the inclusion of petroleum and real estate under the GST ambit and insist that these items be put on the council meeting agenda.
Ruing varied petroleum rates across states, Manpreet said, “The neighbouring Chandigarh has reduced prices of both diesel and petrol causing loss of revenue to Punjab.

“We have told the Chandigarh Administration that they will not be keeping these profits to themselves and their surplus revenues will anyway go to the Consolidated Fund of India. Chandigarh is a revue-surplus UT, but we are suffering losses since they’ve reduced the prices of diesel and petrol,” Manpreet said arguing that there was no reason why states should be competing with each other on petroleum costs and other things like car registrations.

In fact the Finance Ministers of the north zone are meeting in Delhi on January 19 to discuss possibilities of having uniform petroleum rate slabs and also car registration costs.
“These are areas where we states can have uniform rates. That’s the point of one nation one tax,” Manpreet said.
He said the Congress would ask for deferment of a decision on e-way Bill the government was planning to table in the GST meet tomorrow and implement from February 1.

“The Bill has wide implications and needs to be studied by all stakeholders. We will demand that a month be given to everyone to study it. Tomorrow we also expect proposals that would require constitutional amendment to the law. The government has clearly rushed through the GST rollout and we have a 350-page agenda tomorrow. After eight months of implementation should we be having such heavy agendas?” Manpreet asked.

Though he noted that a bad GST was better than no GST at all, he said the government needed to take the trading community along to ensure the success of the law.
He added that the government was set to reduce GST rate on mineral water from 18 to 12 per cent.
“In the Guwahati meeting of the GST Council the Congress had said the government should abolish 28 per cent rate slab altogether and gradually that’s happening,” Manpreet said.

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