Rajya Sabha adjourns briefly over delay in release of GST payments to states


Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu in the Rajya Sabha (RSTV Grab)

Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu in the Rajya Sabha (RSTV Grab)

Rajya Sabha proceedings were on Wednesday adjourned for close to an hour after an uproar by opposition parties over delay in release of GST payments to states.

When the House met for the day, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu rejected adjournment notices from several opposition MPs over delay in payment of compensation to states under the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

K Keshava Rao of the TRS said nine states are yet to get dues from the Centre since August, hampering development work.

Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu, however, said the issue has been discussed earlier in the House and can again be raised during appropriate debates.

Unhappy over this, some members moved into the aisle holding posters, seeking the release of the GST fund.

Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu asked MPs not to display posters and asked them to go back to their seats and said he will adjourn the proceedings if the members did not want Zero Hour.

Those supporting the demand for the release of GST payments included TMC, Congress and TDP members but the Chairman did not allow them to raise the issue.

With the protests unrelenting,Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu adjourned the proceedings till 1200 hours.

When the GST was introduced from July 1, 2017, the Centre had assured the states, through legislation, that the revenue shortfall arising from their taxes being subsumed in the new indirect tax, will be compensated fully for the first five years.

For the purpose of calculating the compensation amount in any financial year, 2015-16 was assumed to be the base year. A 14 per cent annual increment over this base year was added to calculate the compensation amount.

The base year tax revenue consists of a state’s tax revenues from the State Value Added Tax (VAT), central sales tax, entry tax, octroi, local body tax, taxes on luxuries, and on advertisements.

But the compensation to the states has not been paid since August, triggering protests.