Toll tax barriers may not generate target revenue | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Toll tax barriers may not generate target revenue

punjab Updated: Feb 17, 2014 17:46 IST
Shalender Kalra

With decline in industrialisation in the state, the excise and taxation department may face a setback in terms of revenue generation from toll tax barriers for 2014-15. The process for auction of the barriers may begin in the last week of February.

Sources said while the department tries to get a 10% hike in revenue generation ever year, there were indications that it might not be able to even equal the revenue generated in 2013-14.

Last year, the department had auctioned three major toll tax barriers on the borders of Uttarakhand and Haryana for Rs 12.74 crore.

In the last three years, toll tax revenue jumped unexpectedly, with the Kala Amb barrier valued at more than Rs 6 crore, from the earlier Rs 4.61 crore. Sources said revenue increased by 68% in 2011-13, compared to a 6.21% hike last year.

Excise and taxation assistant commissioner RD Janartha said the strategy for toll revenue generation could be chalked out only after the formation of the toll tax policy, adding that contractors were "not as interested" in toll tax barriers now, and the department could face several hurdles in auctioning the barriers in Sirmour district.

Sources said the toll tax policy for the next financial year may be announced in the next two weeks.

Reasons for disinterest
The department is yet to recover Rs 1.85 crore from toll tax contractors. Sources said the Kala Amb contractor had to pay an outstanding of Rs 1.35 crore, while Govindghat and Behral contractors had to pay Rs 50 lakh for the current year.
The Kala Amb contractor had incurred losses due to the Kedarnath tragedy as the traffic inflow was reduced sharply.
The closure of the national highway had also caused losses, leaving him disinterested in running the toll collection booth the next year, sources said.

Government efforts
The state government, in its budget, announced that toll tax barriers would be auctioned for a period of three years. Sources said the move could help the department officials generate revenue from toll tax barriers, as it would attract contactors, who would get the benefit of running the toll booths over the next three years, with only one-time expenditure on basic infrastructure.