The state government has set a target to increase its non-tax revenue from Rs 15,000 crore to Rs 25,000 crore, exploring non-conventional avenues to generate money. The decision comes in the wake of the enforcement of Goods and Services Tax (GST), which would further constrain the revenue options through conventional taxation route.
Indicating that the state domestic growth rate (GSDP) would be higher than the average but remain within single digit, Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said Thursday, “The overall debt will be on decline in terms of percentage comparable to last year.”
The overall state debt last budget was at Rs 3.56 lakh crore. “We are working to explore new methods to mobilise non-tax revenue, which is not a daunting task. Currently, we pool Rs 15,000 crore through non-tax revenue. It can go upto Rs 25,000 crore,” said Mungantiwar.
Ahead of the state budget presentation on March 18, the finance minister indicated that his government’s thrust would be on agriculture, which accounts for the highest employment of up to 2.60 crore out of the total population of 11.40 crore in the state.
“There are several simple methods that would help boost our non-tax revenue such as raising the court fees to issuing challan slips. The state will study the Kerala lottery model, which helps them earn Rs 1,500 crore. The Maharashtra lottery income is confined to Rs 100 crore. The sizeable component from the lottery can be utilised to help farmers,” said Mungantiwar.
The finance minister said giving property on lease could be another source to bring revenue. He said, “The Race Course at Mahalaxmi, which is let out for weddings and other events, earns several crores to private players. But the government has leased prime land for Re 1 or Rs 100. Now, why shouldn’t we seek almost 25 per cent of the total earnings on every event from such prime property.”
Mungantiwar said the government planned to set up a non-banking corporation after the budget session. “The objective is to raise funds from the autonomous institutions as a borrower on lower interest rates. Instead of looking for loans from private financial institutions or companies, we can utilise the huge deposits lying in several autonomous bodies. A case in point is the BMC, which has a huge amount of Rs 55,000 to Rs 65,000 crore. Now, I am not sure they would lend the funds. But there are other such institutions whose funds we can mobilise and put to public welfare works,” he said.