Centre allows 20 states to borrow additional Rs 68,825 cr to meet revenue shortfall

The Centre on Tuesday permitted 20 states to raise additional Rs 68,825 crore through open market borrowings to bridge the revenue shortfall caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision comes a day after the GST Council meeting failed to reach a consensus on the stalemate over the Centre’s proposal of states borrowing against future GST collections to make up for the shortfall.

The projected total GST compensation shortfall in the current fiscal stands at Rs 2.35 lakh crore. The Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance, has granted permission to 20 states to raise an additional amount of Rs 68,825 crore through open market borrowings, an official statement said.

“Additional borrowing permission has been granted at the rate of 0.50 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) to those States who have opted for Option- 1 out of the two options suggested by the Ministry of Finance to meet the shortfall arising out of GST implementation,” it said. In the meeting of the GST Council held on August 27, it said, these two options were put forward and were subsequently communicated to the states on August 29. “Twenty States have given their preferences for Option-1. These States are – Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Sikkim, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Eight States are yet to exercise an option,” it said.