The second wave of Covid-19, followed by the lockdown, has hit Maharashtra’s finances badly. The state’s revenue receipts in the first half of the ongoing 2021-22 fiscal has merely been 35% of its budgeted estimates of ₹3.69 lakh crore.
Almost all the key contributing sectors, including stamp duty and registration, excise, Goods and Services Tax (GST) and vehicle taxes, have been hit badly, and the situation may lead to the rise in the fiscal deficit and hamper the development outlay this year.
Against the estimated revenue of ₹3.69 lakh crore, including grant in aid from the Centre, the state’s collection until September 30 is ₹1.29 lakh crore. Of the estimated revenue, the state’s own tax and non-tax revenues expected in the ongoing fiscal are ₹3.12 lakh crore against which collections by the end of the first half of the fiscal is ₹1.11 lakh crore.
Most of the state’s tax revenue comes from GST, sales tax, excise, stamp duty- registration and taxes of vehicles among others. The generation of GST in the first six months has touched ₹41,438 crore against the annual estimated collection of ₹1.18 lakh crore. The collections slightly dropped to ₹7,113 crore in September from ₹8,647 crore in August. The revenue from stamp duty and registration has been consolidated to ₹11,311 crore against the annual estimate of ₹32,000 crore, while excise duty collected in first six months stands at ₹6,618 crore against the estimated annual collection of ₹19,500 crore.
The state government expects the revenue generation to improve in the remaining half of the fiscal.
“The current fiscal is much better than FY (financial year) 2020-21 as the revenue receipts in till last September were just 28.33% because the collection was ₹98,438 crore against the annual estimates of ₹3.47 lakh crore. The first lockdown was stricter than the lockdown during the second wave from February-March this year. During the pre-Covid years, the revenue collection for the first six months would be around 44%. We expect the revenue to improve in the remaining six months as the third wave, in case it hits, is not expected to be as severe as the earlier two waves. The collection in Q-2 (quarter 2) of the current fiscal improved in comparison to the receipts in first three months,” an official from the finance department said.
The state government is wary about the rise in the fiscal deficit and hampering of the development works. The state has estimated a revenue deficit of ₹10,226, which could increase substantially because of the drop in the receipts. The dues of more than ₹38,000 crore towards GST compensation from the Centre may also lead to the reduction in funds for development works.
“The spending on the development projects had been less than 50% of the outlay, while this year, too, it is not expected to be more than 70%. This year’s allocation for the development works is around ₹1.30 lakh crore. The ramping up of the health infrastructure in anticipation of the third wave has resulted in huge spending over and above the budgeted allocation for health infrastructure. This will need diversion of funds from other departments,” another official said.
State excise commissioner Kantilal Umap said, “The second wave coincided with the beginning of new fiscal, resulting in a major drop in the excise duty in first six months. The situation is not as bad as it was last year as our half-yearly collections from the excise duty is 28% more to the corresponding period of last year. We, however, hope to achieve our target of ₹19,500 crore as traditionally the sale of liquor improves after October. Also, we get around ₹1,100 crore from the licence fee in March.”
Doonited Affiliated: Syndicate News Hunt