The Aurangabad division of the sales tax department has recovered Rs 2,711 crore in taxes, the highest so far in the history of the division. Despite this feat, the department still fell short of Rs 56 crore in achieving the set target of Rs 2,767.44 crore for the year financial year 2014-15.
The highest revenue — Rs 2,453.72 — so far was collected in 2013-14 in spite of the drought situation in the region.
Officials at the Aurangabad division of the sales tax, which includes the three districts of Aurangabad, Jalna and Beed, attribute the approximate deficit of Rs 56 crore to various factors including severe drought, market slowdown and some tax filers paying their taxes directly at the Mumbai office.
Earlier this year senior officials realised that they may fall short in meeting the set target of Rs 2,767.44 crore and so formed 20 squads to ensure that the regional office meets the target before the closing of financial year 2014-15.
Compared to 2014-15, the region in the year 2013-14 was given a target of Rs 2,650.54 crore but the sales tax department registered a deficit of Rs 196.82 crore.
Sales tax joint commissioner D M Muglikar said, "Due to the slowdown in some of sectors and other factors including failure in crops and drought, efforts were taken at a large scale to ensure that the revenue collection target is met before the fiscal end. Despite all odds our division this year has not only collected the highest revenue in its history but has also outperformed the neighbouring divisions of Nashik and Dhule."
Talking about the major factors that prevented the division from meeting the target, Muglikar said, "Sales tax depends on gross turnover and during fiscal 2014-15, some major players faced issues which had a direct impact on their gross turnover resulting in to dip in their contribution. This was followed by the steel industry from Jalna, where there are 55 units of which around 40 are operating single shift due to water scarcity and slowdown. Another reason that kept us away from surpassing the target is that the major distilleries and five-star hotels in the division pay their taxes at the Mumbai office."
In spite of all these facts, sales tax department officials maintained that in the current fiscal, the division has already started its preparations to meet the new target, which is likely to be given by month-end.