Punjab, Karnataka cry revenue loss

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Punjab: The Congress has alleged that the Centre was sitting on a  pile of money  and delaying disbursement of the States  share of IGST.

Punjab: The Congress has alleged that the Centre was sitting on a  pile of money  and delaying disbursement of the States  share of IGST.

Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal and Karnataka Agriculture Minister Krishna Byre Gowda told reporters here on Friday that both the States witnessed a shortfall of about ₹800 crore and ₹600 crore, respectively, in July s SGST collection.

Doubtful success

In a statement, the ministers said the Centre had claimed a total GST collection of close to ₹92,000 crore for July.  These collections camouflage nearly ₹30,000 crore to ₹40,000 crore of likely taxes that were available as transitional credits, but could not be taken because of the glitches in the GST Network and confusion created by the government. The net of these credits tax collections would be far less, creating serious doubts about GDP growth as well as tax numbers,  the Congress leaders said.

Badal said the States had been forced to borrow money and pay interest while the Centre would earn interest on the IGST amount that is yet to be distributed to the States.

Textile industry in crisis

He said the tax structure for the textile industry is designed to benefit big players, and small and marginal industries had been forced to leave the competition.

Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi had recently met textile workers and entrepreneurs in Gujarat. The party s State governments intend to raise the industry s concern in Saturday s GST Council meeting.  While Indian fabric manufacturers will pay such high taxes, imports from China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and other countries at 5 per cent will further hit India s textile sector, making it unprofitable. The strike in the textile sector has already caused an estimated loss of nearly ₹40,000 crore across the country and loss of nearly 15 lakh jobs,  the ministers said.

They said while man-made fibre and yarn, dyeing and printing units and embroidery were being taxed at 18 per cent, the rate on the end product, the fabric, is only five per cent.  This is proving to be a death knell for the small and micro non-integrated textile players, while helping only the biggest fish to sustain,  Badal said.

Sops required

The party urged the Centre to provide appropriate relief to save the textiles sector.  Even otherwise, the exemption limits for traders needs to be raised from existing ₹20 lakh to ₹1 crore, and for manufacturers from ₹50 lakh to ₹2 crore. As implemented by the previous Congress-led UPA government, the optional scheme for textile sector needs to be considered with benefit of input credit refund for weavers with job work arrangement and exemption in the common job workers, who principally operate in the organised sector,  the ministers said.’