Nov. 19, 2020, 2:16 a.m.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to request an increase in the amount of the loan under the special window provided by the Center to fill the gap in compensation for the tax on products and services (TPS). Vijayan, in his letter, expressed the willingness of states to join the modified Option 1, but urged to increase the borrowing limit to Rs 1.83 lakh crore from the suggested Rs 1.1 lakh crore.
… The States are fully justified in asking that the limit of the amount through the installation of special window should be increased to Rs 1.83 lakh crore instead of the suggested Rs 1.1 lakh crore. It can be noted that the States will have to wait another two years to obtain the compensation of the balance of Rs 73,000 crore according to option 1 suggested by the Union Ministry of Finance. The additional 0.5% loan without conditionalities, although welcome, cannot be treated as a facility instead of the unpaid part of the compensation as principal and the interest on this loan must be repaid by the States, indicates the letter dated November 11.
The finance ministry said last month that the Center would borrow in the market and then act as an intermediary to arrange back-to-back loans to pay off the GST clearing deficit of Rs 1.1 lakh crore to state governments .
In August, the Center offered two options to states and union territories, either borrow Rs 97,000 crore at a special window facilitated by the RBI, or borrow Rs 2.35 lakh crore on the market.
The options have been revised to Rs 1.10 lakh crore and Rs 1.8 lakh crore, respectively. Rs 1.10 lakh crore is based on an assumption of 7% revenue growth vs. 10% earlier, while Rs 1.8 lakh crore is the shortfall for the 10 month period vs. 2.35 lakh crore Rs for the full year.
On Tuesday, Telangana became the last state to accept Option 1, joining 22 other states and 3 Union Territories (Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir and Pondicherry).
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