BHUBANESWAR: Even as the State Government has asked all departments to implement the promises made by Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in its manifesto, collection of tax has fallen substantially during the first quarter of the current financial year raising serious questions over their execution.
As against a target of `2,800 crore from Value-Added Tax (VAT) and Central Sales Tax (CST) from April to June 2014, the collection was `2,091.85 crore, a shortfall of `708.15 crore. The situation was reviewed at a high level meeting at the State Secretariat here on Sunday with the Finance department asking the Commercial Tax Commissioner to take steps to make good the shortfall. Besides, a decision has been taken to achieve the target fixed for VAT and CST in the second quarter. As per official sources, target of collection from VAT and CST has been fixed at `13,110 crore for 2014-15. The target for second quarter has been set at `3,100 crore while that of the third quarter has been fixed at `3,400 crore. The target for fourth quarter has been set at `3,800 crore.
However, former finance ministers maintained that going by the growth rate of tax collection, reaching the target will be a tall order. The growth rate of VAT and CST collection was only 5.89 per cent from April to June, 2014 compared to the corresponding period in the last financial year. Collection of Entry Tax has also fallen far short of target. The collection of Entry Tax has been `346.86 crore as against the target of `390 crore for the first quarter. The growth rate of Entry Tax collection during the period was only 2.5 per cent compared to corresponding period in the last financial year. The target of Entry Tax for 2014-15 has been fixed at `1,875 crore.
Promises made by the BJD in its election manifesto were accepted in-principle at the first Cabinet meeting. Implementation of different ongoing schemes and new schemes will require at least `3,000 crore per year.
Two former finance ministers, Prafulla Chandra Ghadei and Panchahan Kanungo, have already raised concern over the stagnation in the economy.