The Odisha government has sought Central assistance for the ensuing Nabakalebara festival and early release of the post-Phailin and Hudhud assistance.
The demand was placed by Odisha Finance minister Pradip Amat at a pre-budget meeting presided over by Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi on Friday.
“I have requested the Union minister to make a provision of Rs 740 crore Central assistance in the Union budget for the Nabakalebara festival scheduled in June next year. I have also requested the Centre to approve the release of the pending amount of Rs 777 crore towarsds post-cyclone assistance for Hudhud and Rs 399 crore for Phailin”, Amat told reporters after the meeting.
Addressing the Finance minister’s meeting earlier, Amt made a strong pitch for compensation against CST (central sales tax) loss.
“Due to the rate of reduction in CST, the state is losing heavily on this account. Till 2013-14, the amount outstanding is Rs 3420 crore. I would request the Union government to fully compensate the state for the CST loss or alternatively restore the CST rate to four per cent till implementation of GST (Goods & Service Tax)”, the Finance minister said.
As a move towards implementation of GST, it was decided to phase out CST over a period of four years with annual reduction at the rate of one per cent. Till implementation of GST, the Union government had decided to compensate states.
Accordingly, the CST rate was reduced from four per cent to three per cent from April 1, 2007 and from three per cent to two per cent from June 1, 2008. Due to uncertainty in implementation of GST, the CST rate continues at two per cent till date. Odisha has received compensation till 2010-11.
The state government also raised the demand for taxing goods sold through the e-commerce platform at the consumption point.
“Presently, with popularization and increased turnover of e-commerce, a consuming state like Odisha suffers. Not only the state loses revenue, but it also dents the retail trade and affects the business in the state adversely. Interstate transactions are regulated by CST Act. Therefore, it is suggested that the CST Act may be amended so as to enable the consuming state to collect the tax on the commodities where those are consumed. E-commerce may be defined in the CST Act and a new section may be inserted in CST Act,” he pleaded.
Piqued at the non-inclusion of a non-rebatable cess in the Constitutional Amendment Bill for GST, he said the concerns of mineral bearing states have not been addressed.
The state government had proposed empowering the mineral producing states to levy an additional non-rebatable cess on minerals raised, subject to a ceiling as a separate entry in the List-II of the State List.
Odisha also reiterated its demand for introduction of mineral resource rent tax (MRRT) to tax super normal profits made by miners. The introduction of the tax can spell revenue gain of Rs 5000 crore annually for Odisha, home to more than a third of the country’s mineral resources.
He also said he had requested the Union Finance minister to provide the compensation amount to the state towards the loss of Central Sales Tax (CST).