Tax revenue likely to be hit this year

MV tax receipts, share in Central pool may go down

Tax revenue likely to be hit this year

Karnataka may face a shortfall in tax revenue in the present fiscal year, with the revenue from state taxes expected to decline by Rs 931 crore and the share in the Central tax pool likely to go down.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, replying to budget discussions in the Assembly on Wednesday, said the collection of motor vehicles tax will fall short by Rs 320 crore and there would also be a downward revision in the State’s share of Central taxes (by Rs 1,081 crore) and grants from the Centre (by Rs 1,523 crore). He claimed that despite the deficit in tax revenue and sluggish growth of industrial and service sectors, the State finances were in good health. The slowdown in the economy had affected tax collections across the country, he pointed out.

Focus on social welfare 

The chief minister said social welfare and inclusive growth continued to be the priorities of the State government and dismissed the Oppositions claim that the present budget lacked “Siddaramaiah touch” of social commitment and asset creation. He said the decline in tax revenue would not affect any of the social sector programmes he has launched.

Siddaramaiah pointed out that the allocation for social welfare schemes had gone up to Rs 15,834 crore from Rs 8,616 crore for the financial year 2014-15. He said the State had been put on the path of development after the Congress came to power.

As many as 272 development schemes had been launched and 95 of the 165 promises made in the Congress election manifesto implemented, he said.

Except for hike in excise duty on beer, citizens had not been burdened with any new tax. Food subsidy, which stood at Rs 991 crore during the BJP regime, had been increased to Rs 3,400 crore. Food grain production was set to reach a new high of 131 lakh metric tonnes despite drought in 126 taluks.

Responding to clarifications from members, Siddaramaiah said the government will constitute an agriculture price commission soon and come to the rescue of arecanut, coconut, coffee and cotton growers in distress. Not satisfied with the reply, BJP members staged a walkout.

The Assembly passed the appropriation bill (budget) for Rs 47,195 crore for a period of four months (April 1 to July 31) by a voice vote. The House also passed Supplementary Estimates of Rs 4,454 crore for the year 2013-14

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