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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Issac on Saturday slammed the Centre which is now planning to implement a calamity cess on GST above 5 per cent and he termed these as policies similar to putting the cart before the horse.
An eminent economics scholar and a former professor, Issac expressed his anguish in the Centre trying to set new precedence to take away the powers of the state, when speaking to a TV channel, here.
“This is not the time to think of implementing a calamity cess on GST above 5 per cent. Today the purchasing power of the people has to be augmented and for that a direct benefit transfer has to happen. All what’s happening is like the Centre trying to put the cart before the horse,” said Issac and pointed out all what the Centre has given is a mere 20 per cent of the GST.
“This is a self inflicted one by the Centre, as it reduced the GST rates just before the elections to please some. This is not the time to think of a cess,” said ths state Finance Minister.
He said the present crisis is multipronged as due to the lockdown, things are lying in the godowns and there is no cash in hand with the people.
“The question is where to start and its here that we have been saying, money should reach the hands of the people and if that happens, the things in godowns can be taken out and new productions can start,” said the former economics professor.
He expressed anguish in the Centre trying to set new precedence, which even the successive Finance Commissions’ have not adopted.
“On the one hand they give the nod for market borrowings Aon the other hand they are putting up conditions. This is taking away the rights and powers of the state, which no Central government’s in the past have done,” added Issac and pointed out what the Centre fails to understand is India is a diverse country where states have government’s which have different ideologies.
He said at the next GST Council meeting, all these things would be raised.