Will Centre release Rs 20k cr pending dues to Tamilnadu?

Chennai: Tamilnadu Chief Minister M K Stalin, who met Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in New Delhi Friday, and sought release of Rs 20,860.40 crore pending dues to the State from the Centre.

In a memorandum submitted her, he also sought the release of balance basic grant and performance grant under Local Body Grant recommended by the 14th Finance Commission, which had recommended a sum of Rs.7899.69 crore as Basic Grant for Rural Local Bodies during its award period 2015-2020.

However, the Union government has not released the basic grant of Rs.548.76 Crore to Tamilnadu due to non conduct of local body elections in 2900 Village Panchayats due to litigations in the court which are beyond the control of the State Government.

Subsequently, the elections in these 2900 Village Panchayats were held on October six and nine, 2021 and elected members have assumed their posts.

He said similarly, the 14th Finance Commission has also recommended a grant of Rs.2524.20 crore as Performance Grant to Tamil Nadu during the period 2016-17 to 2019-20. On the above, the Union Government had released a sum of Rs.494.99 Crore for the year 2016-17 for which the utilisation certificates have been furnished with a request to release the grant for the year 2017-18.

Stalin said despite compliance of the conditions and furnishing of utilisation certificates, the grant for the year 2017-18 has not been released to Tamilnadu. Subsequently, the grant for the years 2018-19 and 2019-20 have also not been released.

However, the Union government has released the performance grant to most of the States for the year 2017-18.

‘Hence, we urge that the balance basic grant of Rs.548.76 crore and performance grant of Rs. 2029.22 crore be released to Tamilnadu early’, he said.

Listing out the pending dues from the Union government, Stalin said the state Government is facing severe financial stress despite easing out of Covid pandemic at present, as the revenues have been badly affected due to pandemic, which had necessitated the State to incur additional expenditure towards upgrading health infrastructure, medical equipment, drugs and also implement welfare schemes for the vulnerable sections of the populace and sought release of the pending dues from the Union government to the tune of Rs.20860.40 crore, which included GST compensation arrears to the tune of Rs 13,504.74 crore.

‘We request that the pending dues of Rs.20860.40 crore be released to Tamilnadu at the earliest, so that the State could effectively overcome from the fiscal crisis’, the Chief Minister said and urged the Union government to extend the period of compensation by at least two years beyond June 2022.