Revenue collection could be short by Rs 400 crore

 

 The suspension of mining activities in the state together with the government decision to do away with tax on petrol, are likely to have an impact on the collection of taxes by the commercial tax department, particularly the value-added tax, and that the total collection could be short by ` 400 crore of the targeted amount of ` 2,080 crore.
 
While the collection of VAT could reach ` 1,600 crore as against ` 1,680 crore last year, with around ` 1,200 crore having been collected by the commercial taxes department by January-end. The luxury tax collection is also unlikely to touch the last year’s figures of ` 110 crore as only ` 80 crore have been collected till January-end, with the collection falling sharply during the festive season of Christmas and New Year.  
On the other hand, the excise department is likely to not only achieve the last year’s figure but also surpass it, said the officials of the state administration. The department has already collected ` 161 crore till January-end as against ` 141 crore collected during the same period in the previous year. They informed that state collected record revenue last year in view of the assembly election during which factories produced more liquor.
The sources further said that fall in clientele in hotels, especially the higher category, during the New Year festivities, did affect the revenue collection of the department even as they informed that there was not much sale of foreign liquor in January, as had been the case in the past.
While there has been a fall in collection of VAT and luxury tax, the department is expecting to collect record revenue from casinos and entry tax with the revenue from casinos touching ` 60 crore as against ` 45 crore last year. The state is likely to collect ` 200 plus crore as entry tax as compared to ` 170 crore collected last year.
The total revenue collected by commercial tax department last year was ` 2,007 crore.
Sources in the finance department said the government might not be able to collect the same amount it collected from sale of diesel last year due to closure of mining activities. The state had collected ` 300 crore last year from sale of diesel. Besides, it would not get any amount as tax on petrol following its decision.
The state had received ` 160 crore as tax on sale of petrol.
The sources in the state administration further said that increase in VAT on various goods and items might not be able to generate huge income for the government but help in tiding over the situation to some extent. The quantum of income from raised taxes would be known only by the end of the financial year, they said, adding that other initiatives like reduction of tax on aviation turbine fuel could help in raising revenue.
The sources also stated that there was under reporting by the casino operators in the past and the same could be seen from the returns filed by them in the current financial and they have paid almost double the tax as compared to previous year.  
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar has said that fall in revenue collection due to closure of mines in the state would not affect the projects of his government.
“People will not fill the pinch due to the fall in revenue,” he said.
He also informed that the state budget would be presented on the opening day of the budget session that is scheduled to begin on March 18. He also said the process to prepare the budget would begin soon. [NT]