BENGALURU: In a huge relief to the State Government, which is facing a severe fund crunch due to the Covid-19-induced lockdown, the Central Government has released Rs 4,313 crore towards the Goods and Services Tax (GST) component for December 2019-February 2020. With Unlock 1.0, there has also been an increase in collection of taxes on petrol and diesel in the state.
The lockdown had badly affected the state’s economy and to overcome the crisis, the government has been pushing for economic revival even as it continues to take measures to fight the pandemic. A CMO official said the GST component coming at this juncture will help the state shore up its finances. Also, the situation is slowly improving after restrictions were eased with industries and other businesses restarting, the official pointed out.
On Saturday, at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, Finance Department officials informed that Rs 4,313.13 crore has been released by the Central Government as the GST compensation for the December-February period. The officials also pointed out that there is an increase in collection of taxes on automotive fuel.
Sales tax on fuel is among the major sources of revenue for the state and, according to estimates, the government gets around Rs 1,200 to 1,300 crore per month from it. However, it had dropped significantly during the lockdown due to restrictions on movement of vehicles within and outside the state. State excise, motor vehicle tax and registration of properties are other major sources of revenue for the state.
Action to be taken against illegal transport of goods
Apart from the GST component, the State Government is also expecting Rs 5,495 crore in special grant, recommended by the 15th Finance Commission. The CM had earlier discussed this issue with the Union Finance Minister.
The Chief Minister on Saturday directed the Commercial Taxes Department officials to take strict action against illegal transportation of goods. Based on a similar directive by the CM during a meeting last month, the department has increased the number of road vigilance teams from 77 to 116.
The teams inspected 2.89 lakh transport vehicles and 7.46 lakh e-way bills. Of this, 300 unlawful cases were detected and Rs 6.21 crore in taxes and fine had been collected, according to a note issued by the Chief Minister’s Office. The CM also instructed the officers to conduct a survey of dealers conducting transactions of more than Rs 40 lakh and commercial complexes in big cities which collect monthly rent of more than Rs 20 lakh.