Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Assembly VD Satheesan alleged that the state Finance Minister hid the economic position of the state while the state failed to collect Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) over five years.
VD Satheeshan made the statement on Wednesday after being denied permission for Adjournment Motion on the Tax Collection in the state.
While talking to the Media, Satheesan said, “The FM Hides the Economic Position of the state. The state failed to collect IGST over five years, which made a Rs 25,000 crore loss for the state.”
“Kerala is a consumer state and as per the finding of the national sample survey organization 80 per cent of the goods are from outside of the state. So Kerala should have been number 1 in the collection of IGST and GST in India. In the last 5 years, our tax growth average is 2 per cent. We are not getting the right amount from the IGST pool because we are not remitting the returns properly and submitting the files properly,” Satheesan added.
Mentioning the IGST Act, Satheeesan stated that half a share is for the centre and the rest half is for the state.
He said, “Kerala deserves to get 5,000 but we are losing it every year. In the last five years, we lost 25,000 crores. This is a big fault of the tax administration. We want the government to correct it. On the other side, the government is imposing more taxes on people. But the government was not ready to bring this matter to the assembly floor.”
“Without any provisions, they rejected our right to bring the notice for Adjournment Motion,” Satheesan added.
Satheesan further alleged that the pressure from Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan made the speaker ignore the opposition’s matter.
He said, “We were observing the Chief Minister’s attitude. He shouted at the ministers and he went to the speaker’s room and came back within two minutes. In his speech, he expressed his displeasure to the speaker. Today without any reason and only because of the Chief Minister’s pressure he (Speaker) rejected our opportunity. We are speaking on the basis of evidence. There are 400 questions remaining to be answered. Legislatures are not getting answers from the assembly. This is very absurd.”
“The Finance Minister wants to cover the vulnerable position of the economy in Kerala. That is why they are not allowing us to take this issue on the floor,” Satheesan added.