Ruchika M Khanna
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, October 26
The poor revenue growth, including “less-than-anticipated” devolution from the GST, is impeding the rollout of farm loan waiver and subsidised power to the industry.
Official sources told The Tribune that the rollout of farm loan waiver was discussed with CM Capt Amarinder Singh last night. The government immediately needs Rs 9,500 crore for the purpose and another Rs 1,100 crore for subsidised power to the industry for the rest of this financial year.
Top officials say a loan of Rs 5,000 crore is being raised from a consortium of banks to fund the first phase of loan waiver. As for the power subsidy, the government has already given its consent letter to the PSERC, stating that it will bear the cost of subsidy. The annual subsidy bill will be Rs 2,797 crore.
A cause for concern is less than targeted growth in revenue – in the first five months of this fiscal, the state has earned just Rs 17,529.25 crore. This is just 29.18 per cent of Rs 60,079.87 crore that the state expects to earn in 2017-18. Comparatively, state’s revenues in the corresponding period last year were more than 35 per cent of the estimates.
Sources say other than the Transport Department, which has shown an increase of 17 per cent in its income on a par with last year’s, the receipts from all other tax and non-tax revenues are less than last year’s collection. The growth is just 7 per cent as against the targeted growth of 16 per cent for this year.
Sources say the GST collections for August and September were Rs 1,795 crore, while the state received Rs 600 crore in compensation from the Centre for replacing VAT. This is much less than what the state was hoping to receive. Even the grant-in-aid from the Centre is just 21 per cent of the target (Rs 6,678 crore).
So, the state needs an urgent boost to its revenue. The CM, already upset with the rather a sharp increase in power tariff, has reportedly asked officers not to impose any new tax. He has indicated departments, boards and corporations improve make recoveries from defaulters.
- Rs 9,500 crore for farm loan waiver
- Rs 1,100 crore for subsidised power to industry this year