FM negates claims that govt is taking away fuel taxes through cess
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman strongly refuted allegation that BJP Government at the Centre was biased against Tamil Nadu.
While speaking at the 52nd anniversary function of Thuglak magazine in Chennai, she reeled out data to prove that Modi Government had done quite a bit for the State. She said under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana 1.16 crore accounts have been opened in Tamil Nadu with a cumulative balance of ₹3,397 crore. Under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana 35 lakh LPG connections have been given. Also, of the 1,003 lakh tonnes of foodgrains distributed around PMGKAY scheme, 45.29 lakh tonnes were allocated to TN.
As many as 63 projects, costing ₹248 crore, have been sanctioned under Smart Cities Scheme, she added. That apart, National Highway projects worth ₹8,700 crore will be spent in Tamil Nadu in FY23. Over the last seven years, ₹27,846 crore has been spent on road projects by the Centre in the State.
Responding to criticism that the State did not get its due when it came to performance grant, she said the State got (₹14,431 crore) a lot more than what it was eligible for (₹6,459 crore) as per the 14th Finance Commission.
Sitharaman also said that GST dues have been paid to all States. Compensation worth ₹7.35-lakh crore has been released so far and only ₹78,704 crore is pending for all States for FY22.
She also rubbished claims that the Centre is taking away fuel taxes through cess. It is wrong to say that the cess is not benefiting the States, she said. Against the collection of ₹3.77-lakh crore from health and education cess between FY14 and FY23, ₹3.94-lakh crore was given to the States.
Similarly, she added that utilisation of road and infrastructure cess was ₹11.37 crore against collection of ₹11.32 crore in the FY11- FY23 period, again disbursed to various States.