Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman described the coronavirus pandemic, that has hit the Indian economy hard, as "an act of God". After the 41st meeting of the GST Council chaired by Sitharaman on Thursday, she said it was an unforeseen factor that affected GST collections this year. "We are facing an act of God where we may even see a contraction," the Union Finance Minister said. The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the GST collection to the tune of a shortfall of ₹2.35 lakh crore for the ongoing fiscal year. The meeting was called to discuss ways to make way for the revenue shortfalls of states, which have been demanding GST compensation from the Centre as promised at the time of the rollout of the new tax regime in 2017.