Delhi Finance Minister A. K. Walia on Thursday expressed concern at the nearly 4 per cent decrease in tax collections during the first four months of the current financial year compared with the corresponding period last year.

Dr. Walia exhorted the departments concerned to avoid wasteful expenditure and streamline their collection process. He also called for ensuring transparency in operations and taking of steps for curbing tax evasion. The departments have also been instructed to remain sincere and careful in tax collection as there are still eight months left in the current financial year for meeting the targets.

Dr. Walia cautioned that the decrease in collection of tax revenue could affect developmental activities which were essential for Delhi.

According to the Minister, the collection up to July 2009 was Rs. 4176.03 crore as against Rs. 4344.65 crore up to July 2008. While the total shortfall is around 3.88 per cent or Rs.168.62 crore, there has been substantial decline in the collection from Stamps and Registration Fees, Entertainment Tax, Betting Tax and Luxury Tax.

According to the details released, the collection from Stamps and Registration in the first four months of the financial year has come down from Rs. 407.48 crore in 2008 to Rs. 292.20 crore in 2009. The collection from other taxes and duties on commodities and services also witnessed a drastic downfall. As against Rs. 131.79 crore in 2008, this collection decreased to just Rs. 63.11 crore in 2009.

However, there has been a 5.02 per cent increase in collection of Excise Tax. The collection from State Excise has gone up from Rs. 433.75 crore to Rs. 455.51 crore. Similarly collection from VAT increased marginally by 0.21 per cent and went up from Rs. 3209.42 crore to Rs. 3216.14 crore.

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