Cong accuses govt failing to utilise cess amount of over Rs 3 lakh crore

Randeep Surjewala

New Delhi: The Congress accused the Modi government on Monday of failing to utilise a cess amount of over Rs 3 lakh crore since fiscal year 2015, saying it was a “shocking case of financial anarchy”.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala’s claim cited a media report saying that the unutilised balance from cesses collected between fiscal year 2015 and 2020 (budgeted number considered for FY20), and lying in the Consolidated Fund of India (CFI), is a staggering Rs 3.59 lakh crore.

“Shocking case of ‘financial anarchy’! Between 2014-15 to 2019-20, Modi government failed to utilise ‘cess amount’ of a whopping Rs. 3,59,000 crore! Is it ‘financial insomnia’ or sheer ‘financial incompetence’?” Surjewala said.

“Modi government beats up, lathi charges, tear gases students demanding affordable education! Modi government refuses to roll back the fee hike in central universities! Yet it utterly failed to utilise Rs.49,101 crore of ‘higher education cess’ collected between 2014-15 to 2019-20,” he said in a series of tweets, asking the government the reason behind this.

India is choking because of air pollution, with Delhi and many cities becoming gas chambers, and pollution has emerged as the single biggest challenge in the 21st century for the country and yet, the Modi government failed to utilise Rs 38,943 crore of Clean Energy Cess between 2014-15 and 2019-20, Surjewala added.

“Petrol and Diesel prices go through the roof! Farmers suffer and budget of middle class bleeds as prices skyrocket everyday! Yet Modi government fails to utilise Rs. 74,162 crore of ‘cess on crude oil’ between 2014-15 to 2019-20! Why?” he said.