FM rebuts Congress charge over discrimination over state fund

New Delhi: Rebutting the charges of Congress party over the devolution of funds to the states, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said this apprehension that some states are discriminated is “politically vitiates narrative”.

The Finance Minister stated this while replying to supplementaries in Lok Sabha during the Question Hours on Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury’ remarks that injustice has been done to Karnataka and other non-BJP ruled states by the Central government with reduction in tax devolution.

The Minister underlined that the system with regard to the tax devolution is well placed and she does not have any discretion to play around with Finance Commission recommendations.

The Finance Minister further said, “I have no role in choosing based on my choice, there is no favour involved. No Finance Minister can intervene and stop distribution.”

“There is no way political interests would come on the way of the states getting the funds. It’s a charge that vested interests would like to go around. I don’t have the discretion, it’s the finance commission that takes the decision,” she said.

The Finance Minister said the Commission meets different stakeholders and then submits its recommendations.

Sitharaman added that the GST, particularly the SGST goes 100 per cent to States, while the IGST is collected because it involves a lot of interstate payments and it is periodically reviewed.

This comes days after the Congress MP from Karnataka, D K Suresh, stated, after the interim Union Budget on February 1 that states in South India may be forced to seek a separate country if injustice prevails in fund allotments.

In the Lok Sabha , Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also presented statements of estimated receipts and expenditure of Jammu and Kashmir for the year 2024-25, and the Supplementary Demands for Grants in respect of the Union Territory for the year 2023-24.

UNI

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