As the Shiv Sena led Maha Vikas Aghadi government is to complete one year in office in November, it faces a twin challenge of tackling rising financial stress and reviving the state’s faltering economy. What is worrisome is despite the launch of MissionBeginAgain and the unlocking of multiple activities, the revenue collection comprising tax and non-tax continues to be lower. The state reported earnings fell by 34% at Rs 14,400 crore in September against Rs 22,000 crore in the corresponding period last year.
State Finance Department Officer told Free Press Journal, “The present delicate financial condition and measures for revival were discussed at the meeting chaired by CM Uddhav Thackeray. The revenue collection is not picking up largely due to a drastic fall in consumption because of the fear factor in the present Covid-19 crisis. The restoration of economic activities has also yet to get the momentum. The state’s revenue collection in August was Rs 15,470 crore while it was Rs 19,334 crore in July. The state has mopped up revenues worth Rs 19,344 crore in June, Rs 10,584 crore in May and Rs 11,894 in April.’’ The officer said the government’s revenue collection for the April-September period is to the tune of Rs 99,000 crore against Rs 1,30,400 crore during the same period in 2019.
The state government in the annual budget for 2020-21 had an estimated total revenue collection of Rs 3,47,456 crore. However, because of the economic downturn and lockdown effect, the government expects the reduction in revenue collection at Rs 2,55,000 comprising revenue of Rs 1,80,000 crore through taxes and fees and Rs debt worth Rs 75,000 crore. The government’s total borrowings are expected to be Rs 1,40,000 crore in the current fiscal and it has raised Rs 30,000 crore as of July.
Senior MVA Minister said the government has been working on a slew of measures to boost revenue collection including revision in toll rates, excise fee, and bringing down administrative expenses. Already the government has imposed a 67% cut in planned expenditure during 2020-21.