CHENNAI: Chief Minister M K Stalin has renewed his pitch for extending the GST compensation period at the 30th Southern Zonal Council Meeting held at Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday and said that fiscal autonomy of the States was largely restricted after the introduction of GST.
Stalin also asked the Union government to create a high speed rail corridor in the State and withdraw the Electricity Amendment Bill.
Describing the meeting as a “positive approach to solve our differences”, Stalin, putting forth various demands to the meeting chairman Union Home Minister Amit Shah, said, “After the introduction of GST, the fiscal autonomy of State governments are largely restricted. Therefore, the compensation period must be extended upto two years.”
Asking the Centre to create a high-speed rail corridor connecting major Tamil Nadu cities and neighbouring states, Stalin said that the corridor was much more economical, more energy efficient and less polluting than planes and automobiles. “In order to increase the average speed of travel in the state passenger traffic, I insist on creation of a high-speed rail corridor connecting specific locations in Tamil Nadu like Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai and Tuticorin to each other and to neighbouring states as well,” he added, reasoning that the initiative would reduce carbon footprint in line with India’s net zero ambitions and enhance the economic prosperity of the State.
Requesting Amit Shah to withdraw the Electricity Amendment Bill 2022 and allow state-owned distribution licensees to continue to supply quality power at affordable rates to the people, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister also asked the Centre to expedite allocation of blocks for offshore wind energy in Tamil Nadu, which has the country’s highest offshore wind potential of 27 Giga Watt.
Emphasising his government’s “federal centre and autonomous states” motto in the presence of Shah, Stalin called for unity among southern Chief Minister and said, “We, the southern states share many things in common. Our culture and languages have many similarities and a long history. All of our languages belong to the same family called the Dravidian Family. I appeal to all my brothers here that we should function unitedly with the spirit of brotherhood among us. With this love and harmony we can solve all problems and march in the path of progress and development unitedly.”
Stalin also expressed his desire to host the next southern zone council meeting in Tamil Nadu.
Requested Shah to intervene and get the assent of the President to the Tamil Nadu Admission to Undergraduate Medical Degree Courses Bill. On internal security, Stalin suggested real-time information sharing on internal security aspects and better coordination among intelligence chiefs of Southern States.
Stalin also urged the Centre to formulate a suitable simplified mechanism to allow the States to enter into MoUs with other Countries / their Ministries / Agencies, especially in the sectors of investment promotion, strengthening academia - industry Networks.