Slowdown affects state, April revenue dips 20% - Mandi Gobindgarh News

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Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Slowdown affects state, April revenue dips 20%

Slowdown affects state, April revenue dips 20%

Ruchika M Khanna

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10

Punjab does not appear to have begun the financial year on a very sound note. The state’s revenue receipts for the first month of the fiscal — April — have revealed a decline in income as compared to the previous year.

The figures available with The Tribune show that the revenue earned in the first month of this fiscal is Rs 2,957.88 crore, which is just 3.77 per cent of the total target of Rs 78,509 crore that the state expects to earn as total revenue receipts in 2019-20. In April 2018, Punjab had earned Rs 3,815 crore, which was 5.34 per cent of the total budget estimates.

The slow revenue collection this year has set the alarm bells ringing in the Finance Department, especially as it comes after a particularly bad fiscal (2018-19). Last financial year, the state was able to achieve just Rs 60,832.28 crore of the revenue target of Rs 72,311.85 crore. The budget proposals for 2019-20 were announced in February this year, and till then no one had gauged that the revenue deficit would touch a whopping Rs 8,451 crore.

The tax revenue (which includes GST, excise collection, stamp duty, land revenue, sales tax, share from union taxes, etc) collected in the first month is Rs 2,823.93 crore, as compared to Rs 3,093.28 crore collected in April 2018. The biggest fall, however, is in the non-tax revenue. As compared to Rs 722.81 crore collected last April, the non-tax revenue collected in April 2019 is just Rs 133.95 crore.

The reason for poor tax collection is the slowdown in the economy. The real estate sector has failed to pick up, leading to poor stamp duty collection. There has been minimal trading activity leading to poor GST collection in a consuming state like Punjab, while state’s non-tax revenues coming from transport sector and service charges for services rendered to the public, too, are low as compared to other states. While income is low, expenditure is rising.

The state government has also borrowed much more than last April — Rs 1,082.11 crore as compared to Rs 341.92 crore in last April. The state’s expenditure, too, has increased from Rs 291.72 crore spent last April to Rs 626.06 crore this April.

The expenditure on interest payment, too, has increased from Rs 912.48 crore to Rs 1,054.87 crore, as has the expenditure on salaries, which has increased by Rs 100 crore. As a result, the state is showing a deficit in revenue of Rs 1,001.37 crore, as compared to a revenue deficit of Rs 261.94 crore last April.

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