West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra on Wednesday wrote to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman alleging that there has been a steady breakdown of the spirit of cooperative federalism in GST Council meetings.
“What pains me the most is the fact that the GST Council Meetings have become acrimonious, vexing and almost toxic with erosion of mutual trust that held past between States and the Centre since inception,” he said.
He urged her to consider a “course correction” in the manner of functioning of the council. “We will respond in equal measure if you bring back consensual atmosphere that has defined GST Council since its inception,” he noted.
Dr. Mitra stated that after hours of submission by Ministers, no conclusion and consensus was declared at the end of a meeting, as in the case of 42nd meeting of the council. The Minister has sent a note of dissent after the meeting. He alleged that his microphone was switched off at a crucial time.
In the three-page letter that has been copied to his counterparts in other States and Union Territories, Dr. Mitra said, “Many of us as Ministers are also concerned that the GST Implementation Committee ( GIC) consisting of officers, from a few States and mainly from GoI, have started amending rules and presenting them only for the information of GST Council – not for discussion and ratification”.