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Punjab govt slams Centre for delaying GST compensation

Punjab govt slams Centre for delaying GST compensation

Chandigarh, Feb 8 (PTI) The Congress-led Punjab government today criticised the Centre for allegedly delaying the release of more than Rs 630 crore in GST compensation to the state, alleging that it has led to fiscal problems.

The state government had to float development bonds of Rs 700 crore to raise money to pay salaries to government employees after the GST compensation was not disbursed by the Centre.

"We have not been paid GST compensation of Rs 633 crore by the Centre that has led to cash flow problems to the state. It was supposed to be disbursed 15 days ago," state finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal said.

"We have raised Rs 700 crore through state development bonds (for payment of salaries) and now the salary has been released," Badal said.

Punjabs monthly employees salary bill is pegged at Rs 1,800 crore.

The Punjab Civil Secretariat Staff Association yesterday protested against the non-payment of salaries. The employees claimed it was the second time their salaries were delayed under this Congress dispensation.

The opposition Shiromani Akali Dal slammed the state government for the " total mismanagement of governance".

"If Punjab is blaming the GST system for its fiscal problems, then how other states, which are also under GST system, are able to pay salaries of their employees," SAD spokesman and former minister Daljit Singh Cheema asked.

Cheema claimed that employees salaries were never delayed under the previous SAD-BJP government. PTI CHS ABH