Bhupesh Baghel and Amarinder Singh, chief ministers of Chhattisgarh and Punjab, respectively, have responded critically to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s observations on states’ share of GST. They were speaking at a Leadership Summit hosted by The Hindustan Times.

Sitharaman has stated that the Centre has not been able to pay the states their share of GST revenues because the collection was not adequate. However, she has assured the states that the central government’s compact with them will be honoured.

In the video above, the two Congress chief ministers are unanimous in their belief that Sitharaman does not understand the problems. Singh said, “I have not received my GST since August. I have now just paid salaries late, and that also by borrowing money. Is that the way the states are supposed to be functioning?”

Baghel added that it is only by putting money in the hands of the “aam janta” (common man) that it will move quickly back into markets, and allow business to grow. He goes on to question why Sitharaman has “not learnt these basics from Manmohan Singh,” explaining, “We have also learnt all this from him.”

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