Monday, 30th October 2017

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Hemant flags revenue fall

Soren requested the PM to announce the setting up of a tribal university in Jharkhand in the Union budget

By TT Bureau in Ranchi and Patna
  • Published 12.01.20, 1:33 AM
  • Updated 12.01.20, 3:27 AM
  • 2 mins read
Hemant with Modi in Delhi on Saturday (PTI)

Chief minister Hemant Soren on Saturday called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi and raised an issue that has pan-India significance: the falling revenue share of states after the introduction of the GST regime.

In their half-an-hour meeting, the CM is learnt to have also requested the PM to announce the setting up a tribal university in Jharkhand in the Union budget.

“This was my courtesy visit and my first meeting with him (Modi) after the formation of (the new Jharkhand) government,” Hemant told the media in Ranchi on return.

“In the coming days I will once again meet him and put forward the problems of Jharkhand. The PM has assured of all support. Rights of tribals will be protected.”

He added: “After launch of GST the revenue of states has declined. I raised this issue during the meeting. Poor economic condition of Jharkhand is a well-known fact.”

He said that he would soon hold a meeting to assess the economic condition of Jharkhand and the actual grant received by the state from the Centre. After that, he said, he would meet the Prime Minister with a team of officials to discuss the matter.

A senior official of the state finance department conceded that revenue collection has decreased in Jharkhand, but could not give the exact figure.

“Not only Jharkhand, there are several other states where revenue collection has fallen,” said the official, who requested anonymity.

“I believe in Jharkhand this is in minus. If I am not wrong it is minus 3 per cent.”

Patna-based economist and member-secretary of Asian Development Research Institute Shaibal Gupta told The Telegraph that the problem of shortfall in compensation by the Centre to the states has emerged due to a drop in overall GST collection.

“Previously, the states used to collect sales tax on their own but it was stopped with the advent of GST with a condition that the central government will compensate the states for any drop in revenue due to its implementation. However it (the Centre) has been unable to fulfil it,” Gupta said.

“The concept of ‘one nation, one tax’ is good, but its implementation has been faulty. The system is yet to be streamlined and administrative hurdles need to be done away with.”

Babulal buzz

Hemant on Saturday ducked questions on the buzz that JVM chief Babulal Marandi, who has extended support to the new state government, is likely to join the BJP. The chief minister said that such things can be discussed after five years because his top priority is to run the government in Jharkhand.

Hemant is expected to visit Delhi on January 13 to participate in the meeting of Opposition parties called by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. Hemant is also likely to discuss extension of his cabinet with Gandhi. “Cabinet expansion will take place very soon, talks are on,” the chief minister said.