The Union Finance Secretary on Thursday said GST collection has been severely impacted this year, mainly on account of the coronavirus pandemic. As per GST Compensation Law, states need to be given compensation, he told the 41st meeting of the GST Council.
“The compensation gap which has arisen this year (expected to be Rs 2.35 lakh crore), is due to coronavirus as well. The shortfall in compensation due to the implementation of GST has been estimated to be Rs 97,000 crore,” added the officials.
“The central government has released more than Rs 1.65 lakh crore as GST compensation to states for FY 2019-20, including Rs 13,806 crore for March. The total amount of compensation released for 2019-20 is Rs 1.65 lakh crore, whereas cess amount collected was Rs 95,444 crore,” he said.
“During April-July 2020, the total GST compensation to be paid to states is Rs 1.5 lakh crore, this is so because there was hardly any GST Collection in April and May,” said the secretary.
The 41st meeting of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council headed by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and comprising representatives of all states, held deliberations via video conferencing on ways to make up for the shortfall in states’ revenues, sources said.
While Congress and the states ruled by non-NDA parties pushed for the Centre meet its statutory obligation of covering the deficit, the Union government cited a legal opinion to say it had no such obligation if there was a shortfall in tax collections.
The Centre as well as BJP-JD(U)-ruled Bihar were of the opinion that the states should borrow to make up for the shortfall in the tax revenues that have been compounded by the COVID-19 crisis, sources said.
The options being deliberated at the GST Council meeting include market borrowing, raising cess rate, or increasing the number of items for levy of compensation cess.
Instagram Down: Giving 5xx Server Error
Update 19 Mar 2021 23:38 IST: Instagram and other apps are now working fine.
Instagram is currently facing downtime and users from all around the world are reporting Instagram Server Down on Twitter. Some users are also facing downtime on WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
The Instagram app is showing “couldn’t refresh feed”. and the Instagram website is giving 5xx Server Error.
Earthquake in Nalanda, Patna – Bihar with 3.5 Magnitude
An earthquake of magnitude 3.5 was reported near Nalanda in Bihar on Monday night, according to India’s National Center for Seismology.
The epicenter of the earthquake was 20 km northwest (NW) of Nalanda, Bihar, India, the agency said. The earthquake struck at 9:23 PM IST at a depth of 5 km from the surface. Tremors were also felt in Gaya, Bhagalpur, Nalanda, Patna.
Uttarakhand Power Plant Damaged After The Glacier Burst
Uttarakhand: A glacial burst in Chamoli district, Uttarakhand triggered an avalanche and massive flooding of the Alaknanda and Dhauliganga rivers on Sunday morning, forcing the emergency evacuation of thousands from surrounding areas, and damaging houses and the nearby Rishiganga power project.
Disaster response and management teams have been deployed to conduct search-and-rescue and relief operations. Around 100 to 150 people may have been killed, Uttarakhand Chief Secretary Om Prakash told news agency ANI. Authorities fear hundreds more may still be stuck. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in Assam to campaign for Assembly polls, tweeted: “India stands with Uttarakhand and the nation prays for everyone’s safety.”
Disaster management teams have been mobilized and hundreds of ITBP (Indo-Tibetan Border Police) have been rushed for rescue operations.
SN Pradhan, chief of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), said that teams from the relief force have been moved for search-and-rescue and relief operations in Uttarakhand where a glacial burst has triggered an avalanche. “The glacial burst has taken out a bridge constructed by the Border Road Organisation. Also in the higher reaches, the Rishiganga hydel project also has been damaged,” he said.