New Delhi: The Centre Monday has released Rs 35,300 crore to the States and Union Territories toward pensing GST compensation.

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) in tweet said, “The Central government has released GST compensation of Rs 35,298 crore to States and Union Territories today,”

The Centre released the compensation amount ahead of the December 18 GST Council meeting fearing that the opposition ruled States will raise this issue in the Council.

The States, particularly ruled by non-BJP political parties, had expressed their concern over delay in the payment of GST compensation. Even State like Punjab threaten to go to the court on this matter. The Centre had defaulted in payments of two installments in four months till November.

Earlier in the day, Sitharaman assured States that the Centre will not “renege” on the promise of GST compensations.

The delays to pass on the money are due to a slippage in collections and the states have nothing to be embarrassed about, she said.

The remarks come at a time when States like Maharashtra and Kerala have been demanding the compensation sooner.

“It is certainly their right, I am not denying. At the same time, I am also making it clear to say that I am not reneging on that. States will be given. We are certainly not reneging on it.”

“I admit that the payments which had to go the compensation head have not been given for two months slot,” Sitharaman said.

“I do not want them (States) to feel embarrassed because it’s not their fault nor is it personally my fault,” she said, admitting that GST collections have been much lower than expectations.

She attributed the dip in collections to a slip in GST filing due to natural calamities and also due to a slowdown in consumption that has a direct impact on the collections.