The State's finances are looking up after being hit by the COVID-19 pandemic for several months with over ₹12,000 crore revenue reported during the first two months of the current financial year.
Total revenue during April was a little over ₹6,800 crore and in May it was ₹5,200 crore in spite of the lockdown restrictions allowing free movement of people and conduct of businesses for only four hours for a couple of weeks. That the State is returning to normal in terms of revenue can be seen from the fact that there is an increase in revenue collection in all sectors, including VAT on petroleum products, Excise duty and Goods and Services Taxes, during the two months.
Revenue from commercial taxes department, including SGST, IGST and other heads during the two months, was reported at ₹4,444.78 crore as against ₹1,444 crore in the corresponding period in previous fiscal when the State was under total lockdown for around a month and a half. Value-added tax on petroleum products during the same period was ₹2,034 crore as against ₹292 crore of the same period previous year.
Excise duties from liquor are put at ₹1,815 crore during April and May during the current fiscal while it was nil in April and ₹495 crore in May in the year-ago period. Revenue through registrations and stamp duties during the past two months has been around ₹1,000 crore and the State had also opted for open market borrowings during the period to meet immediate financial commitments.
The rebound in revenue comes after the State suffered huge setbacks during the same period last fiscal when the State's own tax revenue was less than ₹1,600 crore due to COVID-19-induced slowdown and the situation was compounded with the general slowdown of the economy in the country at the same time.
Senior officials are confident that the revenue collection would be back on track as the lockdown restrictions were being gradually phased out owing to the decline in the case load and fatalities. Officials are hopeful that the government would effect revision of land prices sooner than later so that revenue on that count increases significantly and thereby, helping the State achieve the targets set for the current fiscal.
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