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Commercial tax mop-up below growth target
February, 17th 2012

The growth in commercial tax collection in the state at present stands at 20%, which is way below the 30% target for the current financial year.

"Till January in fiscal 2010-11, we collected around Rs 10,000 crore. In this fiscal, we have till date collected Rs 11,800 crore, approximately," commercial taxes commissioner Binod Kumar said at a seminar organized by the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

In the last fiscal, the collection for the full year was around Rs 13,368 crore. "The collection so far this year has witnessed a 20% growth. We are making hard efforts to achieve the target," he said at the seminar on VAT. During the budget-on-account of the state government, state finance minister Amit Mitra has envisaged that the commercial tax collection this fiscal would rise by 30%.

This year, the cash-trapped state government betted big on increased taxes on alcoholic beverages and tobacco. Sales tax on liquor sold at MRP has been raised from 23% to 27% and without MRP from 37% to 50%. The government was expecting to mop up additional resources up to Rs 200 crore from this excise hike. This year, the date of filing returns has been extended from February 15 to February 29.

The state government also opted for e-governance to boost tax revenue collection. Kumar added that the number of registrations for tax filing has increased and e-governance has played a pivotal role.

The five initiatives of e-registration are dematerialization of registration certificates, e-return under West Bengal Sales Tax Act, e-payment under industrial promotion and assistance scheme through electronic clearance systems (ECS), e-VAt refund and payment of refund through ECS and e-submission of option under composition scheme in form 18.

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