Maharashtra government’s revenue got a leg-up in June with a mop-up of Rs 19,200 crore as against Rs 10,000 crore in May and Rs 11,500 crore in April. The June collection, senior state officials said, indicates that green shoots have started to emerge in the economy after the easing of lockdown curbs.
Of the total collections, about Rs 10,400 crore or 54 per cent were from Goods and Service Tax (GST), which is the highest revenue earner for the state government.
“The upward trend indicates that the businesses are picking up. One of the reasons for the recovery is the economic traction due to the pent-up demand,” said a senior official, adding that the payments of tax dues of the previous months had also helped. According to officials, utilising the Union Finance Ministry’s three-month moratorium over the payment of GST dues, several companies had paid their dues for March-end in June that resulted in a surge in collections.
With the Maharashtra government announcing the first set of re-openings in the hospitality sector, the state’s finance managers are hopeful that GST collections would go up further in July. The government has permitted hotels and guest houses to open with 33 per cent occupancy from Wednesday onwards. Standard operating procedures are also being finalised for permitted eateries and restaurants, bed and breakfast outlets and tourism facilities, among others to resume operations soon.
Excise duty collections, meanwhile, have also gone up from Rs 460 crore in May to Rs 737 crore in June. According to Excise Commissioner, KB Umap, the first six days of July have seen collections totalling Rs 276 crore. Amid further re-openings in the hospitality sector, Umap anticipated that the monthly revenue will cross Rs 1,000 crore in July.
Maharashtra had first permitted standalone wine and beer shops in non-red zones to function from May 4 onwards. Subsequently, home deliveries of alcohol and the functioning of wine shops were also allowed in red zones. According to Umap, the department has grossed Rs 1,456 crore in excise duty since May 4. Another Rs 944 crore has been collected by way of sales tax on liquor.
A total of Rs 6,500 crore has come by way of Centre’s grant-in-aid, officials said.
Despite the upward trend, the collections are nowhere near the budgetary estimates. The state’s revenue in the first quarter of 2020-21 was Rs 40,700 crore as against a target of Rs 84,000 crore, forcing the government to borrow money to meet its monthly salary bill of Rs 12,000 crore and apply brakes on new development works.
The government has, so far, borrowed Rs 26,000 crore in the first quarter, confirmed officials. The expenditure, so far, has been to the tune of Rs 52,000 crore.
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