Highlights

  • Nirmala Sitharaman, Chowdhury lock horns
  • Argument over pending GST dues, other funds
  • She says the finance ministry has no discretion

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Nirmala Sitharaman and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury locked horns in the parliament over the alleged withholding of funds for non-BJP government states.

Nirmala Sitharaman, Congress' Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury face off in parliament over GST dues

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury faced off in the parliament on Monday on the alleged withholding of funds for non-BJP government states.

During the tail end of the debate on the "financial viability of states/union territories, Chowdhury put forward the Karnataka government's claim that the Centre is depriving southern states of their financial dues, especially allocations related to GST compensation.

The latest example is Karnataka... where the entire ministry has been agitating against the indiscriminate attitude of your administration. A few months ago everything was hunky dory. But, after the new government (came), since then trouble has started," the Congress leader said.

Sitharaman then hit back at the Congress leader saying that devolution to states "happens as per Finance Commission recommendation", and that she had no "discretion" in the allocation of tax revenues. She also slammed the allegations as a "politically-vitiated narrative" being spread by "vested interest groups".

"There is just no possibility of any Finance Minister intervening, and saying, 'I don't like this state, so stop payment. No way," she added.

She also hit back at the Congress leader's "hunky dory" claims.

"Adhirji is saying that till six months ago everything was 'hunky dory'. If that was so then what went wrong? Have you started spending on items you are not supposed to spend? I am not questioning that... but you spent it, so don't put the blame on Centre, because it goes by the rule book."


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