Claiming that the state’s economy has picked up with the unlocking process, the Uttar Pradesh government on Thursday said its revenue collection this August increased by 6.7 per cent as compared to August of last year.
“Because of the coronavirus pandemic, economic activities were affected in April and May (when the lockdown was enforced). Since July, the economic activities started picking up and now the economic recovery has gained speed… As compared to last year in August, there has been a rise of Rs 600 crore in the revenue collection in August this year,” said state Finance Minister Suresh Khanna.
According to the state government, the revenue collection was Rs 8,942 crore in August 2019. This August, it has risen Rs 9,545 crore – a jump of over 6.7 per cent, the government said.
According to the government, the increase in the revenue collection has been reported from three areas – excise duty, GST/VAT collection, and mining revenue.
Revenue collection through excise duty increased from Rs 1,882 crore last August to Rs 2,310 crore this August – an increase of nearly 23 per cent. It is to be noted that amid different phases of lockdown, the government had allowed the opening of liquor shops with social distancing protocols. The government had also hiked the excise duty of liquor.
The revenue collection from GST/VAT increased from Rs 5126.56 crore in August 2019 to Rs 5329 crore this year August – an increase of nearly 4 per cent.
In the mining sector, the revenue collection increased from Rs 109 crore last year August to Rs 171 crore this August – an increase of 56 per cent.
“Earlier, there were two days of lockdown – Saturdays and Sundays — but now it is just closed for only one day – Sundays — like in the past. All the economic activities have started like in the past… Hum phir se behtar sthiti mein pahunch rahe hain (We are again reaching to a better position),” Khanna said.
The UP government’s revenue collection figures come just days after the RBI said that the country’s economy contracted by nearly 24 per cent (GDP fell by -23.9 per cent) in the April-June quarter.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in a tweet said that it has now become evident how the economy has suffered. “In Noida, about 7000 micro, medium and small- scale factories have shut and lakhs of people have become unemployed. In the country as well in the state (UP), the government is being run through publicity and speeches that contain only lies,” Priyanka tweeted.
Former chief minister and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said, “While cases of coronavirus are touching new heights in the country every day, China is eyeing our highest peaks. The government is negligent in every matter and is irresponsible. Amidst all this, the economy is also creating records of downfall.”