New Delhi [India], August 14 (ANI): Criticizing the Centre over declining growth rate, inflation, fuel price hike, and incomplete GST compensation to states, TMC Vice President Yashwant Sinha on Saturday accused the BJP-led Central government of cheating the states in the name of rationalization.
Sinha alleged that the amount collected by the government in the form of cesses and surcharges increased from Rs 92.537 crore in 2011-12 to Rs 3,38,482 crore in 2019-20.
"Now coming to the relation between the Centre and states, as far as the states are concerned, they are being cheated by the Government of India, and this is not only as far as GST compensation is concerned. The cesses and surcharges collected by the government are not shared with the state governments. The total annual amount collected by the government from the public in the form of cesses and surcharges in 2011-12 was Rs 92.537 crore. In 2019-20, this figure has gone up to Rs 3,38,482 crore. In 2011-12, this part was only 10.40 per cent of the total taxes collected by the government, but this in 2019-20 rose to 15.60 per cent," said Sinha addressing a press conference here today.
Stating that the Finance Commission had increased the share of states in the Central taxes from 32 to 42 percent, the TMC leader alleged that the Central government disregarded the Finance Commission's decision and only transferred 1.42 per cent instead of the prescribed 10 per cent.
Sinha said, "Moreover, the responsibility of running the Central schemes as well as bearing their expenses was also transferred to the states. It was on the states whether they wanted to continue with those schemes or close them. There were 66 central schemes left after rationalization. This government transferred them to the state governments but did not give them the money to run those."
He said that earlier, there was a sharing pattern between the state governments and the Central government in central schemes, but the BJP-led Central government fully transferred those schemes to the state governments in the name of rationalization, adding that the money they transferred to the states for running those schemes was just Rs 3,185 crore, which is only 1.42 per cent of the promised 10 per cent.
"According to the recommendation of the finance commission, the states' share in central taxes was raised from 32 per cent to 42 per cent. But this government only transferred 1.42 per cent and not 10 per cent. This is a complete disregard of the finance commission. This government also did not give GST compensation and they continue to cheat the states even in this regard," he added.
Stating that the country's growth rate has been on a downhill since 2016, Sinha said that the "disastrous decision to demonetize" is responsible for the same, adding that not a single objective of demonetization has been accomplished to date even after five years of the monetary decision. Mentioning that pandemic could be one reason for the country's declining growth rate, Sinha said that in 2019, which is a pre-COVID year, the growth rate had come down to 4.4 per cent from 8.26 in 2016.
Addressing a press conference, Sinha said, "In 2013, before the first term of the Modi government took office, the annual growth rate of the US economy was 6.39 per cent. This percentage was significant because it was a rising trend. In 2008, there was this global financial crisis due to which the global growth rate, the country's growth rate had plummeted. So in that year, India's growth rate had come down to 3.09 per cent. This figure kept on increasing until 2016. This year is very significant. In 2016, India's annual growth rate touched a figure of 8.26 per cent, which is the highest in recent years. Since then, the figure has been downhill. After 2016, each year, we have been losing growth momentum. In COVID year, 2020, the growth rate came down to -7.96-8.0 per cent. The basic point to note is that while the government prefers to hide behind the pandemic, the growth rate has been on a downfall trajectory since 2016. In 2019, which was a pre-COVID year, the growth rate had already come down to 4.4 per cent. Now, why did this happen? I believe that there is only one reason which is the disastrous decision to demonetize."
"After five years, we can clearly see that what were the repercussions of demonetization on the Indian economy. Now, if we do an analysis on the objectives of demonetization, I can say that not a single objective was achieved. As far as black money is questioned, the situation is as it is. As far as cash transactions are concerned, the condition has not changed," said the TMC leader.
Stating that despite low demand owing to COVID-19 induced lockdown, the inflation rate in the country rose to 6.6 per cent in 2020, Sihha questioned the Centre for the rise.
Sinha said, "In 2013, the inflation rate meaning the consumer price index was very high at 11.06 per cent. This was the prime reason apart from the corruption, that the UPA government lost the 2014 general election. But after that, the figures kept on being moderate until 2019, and then the figures went up almost three percentage points to 6.6 per cent in 2020. Now, as we know 2020 is a COVID year and during that year, the demand depressed which is why the growth rate also came down. So, the point to be noted here is when the demand was low, then why did the inflation rate rise? The latest monthly figure which came in July is 5.6 per cent."
Further quoting unemployment figures, Sinha said that the unemployment rate under the current BJP-led Central government rose to 7.11 per cent from 5.67 per cent in 2013, adding that the government has no major achievement in terms of employment generation.
"Similarly, if we take unemployment figures, in 2013, the unemployment rate stood at 5.67 per cent of the employable force. In 2020, it jumped to 7.11 per cent. But, that is understandable as it was a COVID year. But the point to be noted is that in Modi government's seven years, even if we exclude 2020, it was never below 5 per cent. So on the employment front, there is no major achievement of the present Central government," said the TMC Vice President.
Sinha said that even when the prices of crude oil in the international market were on a decline, the prices of petrol and diesel continued to record a steep rise in the country because the government continued to increase excise duty on petroleum and petroleum products.
He also mentioned that in the financial year 2020-21, the price of petrol was hiked 76 times and that of diesel was hiked 73 times.
Sinha said, "Touching upon petroleum prices in government finances, the finance minister recently gave a statement that not even a rupee was taken from the general public for the government's expenditures during the COVID pandemic. But if we see the government's taxation on petroleum, then we come to know that how false is the minister's statement."
"I would like to mention that the prices of petroleum continued to rise in India even during the phase of softening of international crude prices. International crude prices had plummeted to USD 19.90 per barrel in 2020. But this did not provide any relief to consumers in our country. The government continued to increase excise duty on petroleum and petroleum products. In financial year (FY) 2020-21, the price of petrol was hiked 76 times and that of diesel was hiked 73 times. Where the government used to collect about Rs 75,000 crores annually on petrol taxes, that figure has increased to Rs 3.36 lakh crore. This drastic increase in the figures was a result of increased taxes by the Centre. The most important thing about the collection of tax on petroleum and petroleum products is that you don't have to share that with the states," added the TMC leader. (ANI)