Chandigarh has raised the highest revenue, both tax and non-tax, among the five union territories (UTs) without legislatures, reveals the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report tabled in the Parliament on December 8.
The five UTs— Chandigarh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, and Lakshadweep— generated a revenue of Rs 4,160 crore in the financial year 2013-14, of which 69 per cent was generated by Chandigarh by collecting Rs 2,869 crore. The actual revenue realisation of city was more than the budget estimate of Rs 2,576 crore for the same year.
The total tax revenue raised by the five UTs in 2014 registered an increase of 7.79 per from that of the previous financial year. The increase was mainly due to more collections by Chandigarh which witnessed an 18.50 per cent increase in revenue.
The maximum revenue was collected by levying different taxes. Chandigarh generated around Rs 1,919 crore through charging various taxes in 2013-14. A total of 1,332 crore was collected through sales tax, while Rs 133 crore was collected through taxes on vehicles. Rs 126 crore was collected through stamps and registrations, Rs 256 crore through state excise and Rs 72 crore by levying other taxes.
The city also collected a non-tax revenue of around Rs 950 crore under various heads such as police, other administrative services, medical and public health, housing, and power.
The share of the city in the total revenue generated is set to increase in the current financial year as it has increased the rates of various taxes. The local administration has increased the Value Added Tax (VAT) on diesel from 9.68 per cent to 16.41 per cent. In 2014, local member of parliament Kirron Kher had managed to get VAT on diesel reduced from 12.5 per cent to 9.68 per cent. On Tuesday, the administration increased luxury tax from 4 per cent to 8 per cent.
The administration is also planning to increase VAT on motor vehicles and petrol to bring it on a par with Punjab. At present, VAT on motor vehicles in UT is 12.5 per cent, while in Punjab it is 13.2 per cent. Chandigarh has the lowest VAT of 20 per cent on petrol, while in Punjab and Haryana, the figures are 32 per cent and 26 per cent, respectively.
Despite Chandigarh consistently generating ample revenue over the years, the administration has been pressing the Municipal Corporation to enhance various tariffs and impose new taxes.
Former local member of parliament Pawan Kumar Bansal said that Chandigarh was a revenue-surplus city. “We are totally against putting financial burden on residents in the name of generating more revenue,” said Bansal.