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Centre gives Goa Rs 244 crore to meet GST shortfall.


Date: 27-11-2020
Subject: Centre gives Goa Rs 244 crore to meet GST shortfall
PANAJI: The Centre has disbursed Rs 244.4 crore to Goa in four instalments since October 23 to meet the state’s revenue shortfall due to the drop in Goods and Services Tax (GST) collection. The funds, borrowed by the Centre through a special window for states, are being disbursed to states that opted for the first option offered by the Union finance ministry to meet the shortfall due to GST implementation. 

The funds — the latest tranche of which was deposited in the state government’s account on November 23 — have provided the Pramod Sawant government a cushion and prompted the state administration to ease up on the expenditure curbs imposed on June 10 this year, said officials. 

Sawant, while speaking to reporters after Wednesday’s cabinet meeting, said that the state’s financial situation has improved by 60% to 70%. With the state’s economy picking up, GST collections have also improved. The improvement, aided by the department of expenditure’s decision to grant states with additional borrowing limit of up to 2% of gross state domestic product has given the state additional relief. 

“The final instalment of 0.5% out of this 2% limit was linked to carrying out at least three out of four reforms, but for states like Goa who exercised option-1, the condition of carrying out reforms has been waived. Thus, Goa, which has exercised option-1, is eligible to raise an additional amount of Rs 446 crore through open market borrowings,” said a finance department official. 

A total of 25 states, including states governed by non-BJP parties, have opted for option 1. The government of India has borrowed an amount of Rs 24,000 crore on behalf of the states and disbursed the monies on October 23, November 2, November 9, and November 23 to the different states. 

Since the Union government is borrowing the funds, the interest rate is much lower at 5.19% than what states would have had to pay. While the loan term is in the range of three to five years, repayment will be done from the compensation cess collected by the Centre. 

Source:-timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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