Finance Minister Eatala Rajender has said that the Telangana Government was positive on the roll out of Goods and Services Tax (GST) provided the Centre cleared the dues of the State Government and exempted tobacco, excise, rural development cess on paddy and petroleum products from its purview.
The conditional support of the State Government to GST was conveyed by him to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley at the conference of State Finance Ministers at New Delhi on Wednesday, Mr. Rajender told a media conference here on Thursday.
He said that he had also raised with Mr. Jaitley the need for Central assistance to the State Government in view of a Rs. 2,200 crore loss suffered on account of a marginal decline in devolution of taxes as revenue surplus State.
The Rs. 4,600 crore loss on account of elimination of several Centrally-supported schemes and the need for increasing the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management level from 3 to 4 per cent were also taken up with Mr. Jaitley, Mr. Rajender said.
He also said that the State wanted financial assistance that was available to Jammu and Kashmir and north-eastern States and for the implementation of water grid programme.
On the pending compensation of Rs. 7,049 crore to the State for phasing out of Central Sales Tax, Mr. Rajender said the Centre agreed to give Rs.454.6 crore immediately and clear the remaining dues before the end of the financial year.
Food security cards
He announced distribution of food security cards to 2.86 crore below poverty families from May. The cost to government for printing and laminating the cards was Rs.4.35 to 5 each. E-pass mechanism of thumb impression for lifting the monthly ration would be introduced at a cost of Rs. 225 crore for fool-proof delivery at fair price shops.
Source: THe Hindu