GST Dues Not Pending, Some States Yet To Submit Accountant General's Certificate: Centre

Swarajya Staff

Dec 13, 2023, 01:01 PM | Updated Dec 14, 2023, 05:08 PM IST

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

The Centre has said no GST dues of any State are pending before it and that some state governments have not submitted AG's authenticated certificate for release of their share of funds.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in response to a supplementary question in the Rajya Sabha, refuted the claim that the Centre has outstanding GST dues. She labeled the narrative that GST dues are pending from the Centre as a "misnomer", stating that the states have not submitted their AG's report.

"It is important to understand that if the AG's (accountant general) certification is (mandatory)... If the AG's certificate does not reach us, we can not clear," she said.

Some states, even after sending AG's certificate, tell us to hold on till they clear it finally, she said.

The Finance Minister's reply came in response to an inquiry made by Saket Gokhale, a member of the Trinamool Congress, who questioned the GST dues owed to states, especially to West Bengal.

He also sought a reason for which the GST dues of the states were withheld.

In response, the Finance Minister assured that she would explicitly mention certain states to eliminate any potential confusion among the public.

Goa has yet to provide the Auditor General's certificate for the fiscal years 2017-18, 2018-19, and 2019-20. Additionally, the report for fiscal year 2021-22 and the first quarter of fiscal year 2022-23 has not been sent.

She stated that for the 2022-23 period, Karnataka is the only state that has provided an AG's certificate so far.

West Bengal has yet to submit the Auditor General's report for the fiscal year 2019-20 through the first quarter of the fiscal year 2022-23.

"AG's certificate has not come from West Bengal, so the amount would not be released," she said, adding, "to call it pending, I am sorry, its a misnomer. Let them send AG's certificate, we will clear it".

"Kerala has sent us AG's certificate but has also told us to hold on till they reconcile the numbers with AG themselves. So we are holding on. It is not pending from our side," she added, The Hindu reported.

MoS Finance Pankaj Chaudhary, who was present in the house, clarified that there are no outstanding GST dues owed to any state government. He confirmed that these have already been disbursed to the respective states.

"Even some states have not sent their AG's report, despite that we have made some provisional payments. Once AG's report is received, they will receive final payment," he said.

Rajiv Shukla, a member of Congress, brought up the concern of arrest provisions being misused. He questioned the government about the measures they plan to implement to simplify the procedure of filing GST.

In response, Sitharaman said that the Finance Ministers of State governments, who are members of the GST Council, are being informed about the challenges encountered by traders and business communities at the grassroots level.

"The GST Council does discuss these things and periodically the forms are being simplified accordingly," she said.

Sitharaman stated that the council had taken action concerning the abuse of power by local officials who overstepped their boundaries.

The Finance Minister further said she would welcome any member who thinks that there are difficulties faced on the ground, particularly officers who are exceeding their briefs, she would be happy to receive and take action against them.

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