Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday said the entire pending dues for the GST compensation cess to the states will be cleared.
"Till May 31, we have already cleared GST compensation," the Finance Minister added.
Sitharaman said the entire pending balance of the GST compensation cess amounting to Rs 16,982 crore will be cleared and "although this amount is not available with the compensation fund as of today, we have decided to release from our own resources and the same amount will be recouped from the future compensation cess collection".
While addressing a press conference after the 49th GST Council Meeting held in Delhi, the Finance Minister said, "With this release, the Centre would clear the entire provisional admissible compensational cess dues for five years as envisaged in the GST Compensation to States Act, 2017."
In addition, the Finance Minister said the Centre would clear the admissible final compensation to those states, which have provided the revenue figures as certified by the audit accountant general of the states and that amounts to Rs 16,524 crore.
While speaking on the reduction of GST rates, Sitharaman also said, "We are reducing the item on Raab -- the kind of liquid jaggery -- to between nil to 5 per cent." She said if it's loose it will be nil and if it's prepackaged and labelled, it will be 5 per cent.
The GST rates on pencil sharpeners will come down from 18 per cent to 12 per cent.
(with inputs from ANI)