Staff Reporter

Repealing of entry tax led to dip

in tax receipts

Merger of CRL with BPCL has caused

tax loss

KASARAGOD: The State government is confident of achieving an overall growth of 20 per cent in tax collection during the current financial year, Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac said here on Sunday.

Talking to reporters at the Commercial Taxes check-post at Hosangadi, near Manjeswar, after laying the foundation stone of the new office complex, Dr. Isaac said those who had expressed apprehensions about the efficiency of the State government in collecting taxes and declared that the target would not be met had pre-conceived notions. He said some sections of media were spreading half-truths and lies on the issue of tax collection. “Those who sleep can be woken up, but what about those who pretend to be asleep?”

Dr. Isaac said the collection of value-added tax (VAT) during November in this financial year was 31 per cent more than the corresponding period in the previous financial year. He said the State had achieved a growth of 50 per cent in the collection of VAT last year, which was more than the growth achieved by any other State in the country.

One reason for the dip in tax collection during the beginning of the year was the repealing of entry tax, which affected the tax revenue of the State government. The government also lost tax due to it from petroleum products when the Cochin Refineries Ltd. (CRL) merged with the BPCL and transferred its products to the mother company. Tax cannot be levied now on petroleum products of the CRL, as transferring products do not come under the purview of taxation, he said. Dr. Isaac said the merger would cause a tax loss of Rs. 200 crore to the State exchequer.

It was in the context that the government had embarked on a mission to improve the efficiency of check-posts, the Finance Minister said. The state-of-the art library of the commercial taxes at Ernakulam will scrutinize the bills and invoices collected at check-posts from vehicles entering the State. Such bills and invoices will be verified by the government by counter-checking with the voluntary returns filed by traders as per the VAT system, the Minister said. Dr. Isaac said those who criticised the government for lack of efficiency in tax collection should suggest new ways. He said officials would conduct necessary inspection in shops to prevent evasion of taxes. The Minister said the hartal observed by gold merchants in the State was unnecessary. Gold merchants had agreed to compound taxes at one per cent of their turnover, but some of them did not implement it, he said.