State govt likely to identify new tax sources to boost revenue

  • Surendra P Gangan, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Mar 18, 2015 00:42 IST

The state government, in its budget to be presented on Wednesday, is likely to bring under the tax net some ‘unconventional’ sources to boost its revenue.

The debt stock in the next fiscal is expected to be more than Rs3.30 lakh crore from the current Rs3 lakh crore. With a steady rise in establishment expenditure, pensions and interests on debt, the allocation of capital expenditure has shrunk. With no room left to levy more taxes on conventional heads, the finance department has decided to identify new avenues to generate tax.

“Although the direct rise in stamp duty is not possible, the base year applicable for fungible FSI will be extended to the existing ready reckoner rates from the existing application of rates of 2008. This will help us generate additional funds in thousands of crores. Besides that, the premium on FSI is expected to be hiked in such a way that the burden is not passed on to end users,” said an official from the Mantralaya.

The official also said the slab of excise duty on bulk purchases of liquor will be revised. “This will not reflect in a direct hike in duty, but will be an indirect revenue generator. Similarly, ways have been tapped to generate revenue from other important heads such as motor vehicles, sales tax, etc.”

Although the central budget has left limited scope for more taxes on luxury items and products such as cigarettes and liquor, the state will not hesitate in marginal rise in taxes on them. A senior BJP minister said the untapped items such as raw tobacco may attract taxes for the first time. This will boost revenue and will also discourage tobacco consumption, officials said.

The finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar is also expected to announce scrapping of the local body tax in his budget speech. “We have been demanding financial aid from the Centre to scrap the LBT. If the Centre does not budge, we will be left with no option but to go for the hike in taxes through surcharge or some other way,” he said.

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