Stating that GST collection had been severely impacted due to the pandemic, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, said the shortfall in FY21 was around ₹2.35 lakh crore. Following a marathon five-hour GST Council meeting, Sitharaman said two options of compensating states were discussed. She said the first option presented to the GST Council was on providing a special window to states, in consultation with RBI, to disburse the ₹97,000 crore at a reasonable interest rate. This money can then be repaid after 5 years from collection of cess. The second option was to meet the entire GST compensation gap of ₹2,35,000 crore of this year by the states in consultation with RBI. Compensation payments to states are pending for the four months of this financial year — April, May, June, and July.