Bihar’s revenue collection decreased by Rs 1,738 crore in 2016-17 as compared to 2015-16, a year after the state banned liquor on April 5 last year. Bihar could only generate Rs 23,711 in 2016-17 against the state’s revenue collection of Rs 25,449 crore in 2015-16.
Although the drop in revenue, it has set a target of mopping up Rs 32,000 crore this fiscal (2017-18). The decline in total revenue was differing to the perception that the slide would be Rs 5,000 crore post liquor bans. Especially when excise income has fallen from Rs 3,141 crore in 2015-16 to Rs 29 crore in 2016-17.
However, according to Finance Minister Abdul Bari Siddiqui, the trends were positive. “Internal revenue has not fallen as drastically as we had anticipated. This is a positive signal for us. We are now confident of mopping up additional revenue from other sources,” he said.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had said at a public event that the state’s revenue gap would not be as large as people apprehended. He said that people were investing more on consumables and goods, compensating the damage in excise revenue and contributing more through other purchases.
The state performed well to fill the gap in excise revenue from other sources. The sectors that have performed well are commercial taxes, vehicle registration, land revenue and registration of land.
As per the data, the state earned Rs 18,502 crore from commercial taxes in 2016-17 as against Rs17,121 crore in 2015-16. It shows a jump of Rs 1,381 crore. The increase in VAT on diesel and petrol, apart from a large number of wrapped items and sweets above Rs 500 per kg, has aided the state gathered additional revenue from commercial taxes.
Fee amassed from land and flat registration brought Rs 2,981 crore in 2016-17 as against Rs 3,408 crore in 2015-16. This indicates a slight decline in the volume of registration of land and flats in the state.
The transport sector has done well too. The registration of vehicles fetched Rs 1,226 crore in 2016-17 as compared to Rs 1081 crore in 2015-16. Land revenue (in terms of land rent or mutation fee) brought Rs 971 crore last year as against Rs 695 crore in 2015-16.
“Compensating the loss from liquor is a big challenge but we are trying to tap all potential sources to mop up revenue to keep our fiscal health robust. Things will improve once GST is implemented,” said a senior officer in the finance department, reported HT.