CHENNAI: Slower than expected expansion of manufacturing sector has resulted in, commercial tax collections falling short of budget targets leaving the state to look for alternative sources of revenue streams to fund its ambitious subsidy driven welfare schemes. State finance minister O Panneerselvam during his reply to the debate on budget in the assembly repeatedly said the tax revenue targets could not be despite a growth in revenues.
Time has come for the government to crank open other viable alternative revenue streams to compensate loss of liquor revenue due to closure of retail shops. Liquor revenues were a key driver of the government’s tax collection.
“AIADMK in its manifesto has promised to increase the revenue from mining of minerals and granite. A clear cut policy is needed to compensate the loss of liquor revenue,” said Madras university economist R Srinivasan . There are many mines in the state which are not properly monitored leading to revenue pilferage and this must be the first agenda for the tax department — plug the loopholes, he said.
The tax department also needs to tune its employees to go behind the small traders and business establishments to ensure tax net expands. “As of now the department is hesitant to go behind the small traders and establishments as the tax revenue collection is low but the amount spent to collect is more. Though it may not satisfy some of the principles of taxation, the department must strive to collect the tax from these sources and this would boost revenue to a certain extent,” said Srinivasan.
Land registrations targets are another fault line for this government with registration revenue targets slipping. The lower registration revenue is due to glut in the real estate market as well as high guideline values.
The department also has to brace itself with upgrading its infrastructure as the goods and services tax (GST) is a reality now.