Mani says 70% of commercial tax revenue used for major projects

Finance Minister K.M. Mani has exhorted tax officials to tighten their belt to help the government increase its revenue from commercial taxes. About 70 per cent of the commercial tax revenue is spent for major projects and schemes of the government. “The government cannot manage without increasing its tax revenue,” Mr. Mani said while reviewing the work of the Commercial Taxes Department here on Friday.

The Minister took note of the fall in the district’s tax revenue from chicken and tobacco. The district had marked Rs.5.73 crore in tax revenue for chicken in 2011. This fell to Rs.3.77 crore in 2012. Similarly, the tax revenue from tobacco goods had fallen from Rs.37 lakh in 2011 to Rs.20 lakh in 2012.

The Minister entrusted the Deputy Commissioner (Intelligence) to submit a report after examining whether the tax norms had been violated by chicken farmers in the district. Last year, the district had witnessed opening up of about 300 new chicken farms. Mr. Mani asked the Deputy Commissioner to examine whether the chicken farmers had misused the tax exemption benefit given to those having a sale of less than Rs.10 lakh.

The meeting pointed out that the farmers had begun import of chicken directly from Palakkad instead of Tamil Nadu.

It was pointed out that only 19,000 commercial establishments had been registered across the district. Mr. Mani asked the officials to enhance their inspections with an objective of raising the number of registered commercial establishments to one lakh.

Although the tax revenue from the Vazhikkadavu check-post had increased from Rs.25 lakh in 2011 to Rs.32 lakh in 2012, the Minister directed the officials to maintain vigil to prevent the movement of granite and marble under the guise of private use.

Commercial Taxes Department Secretary K. Ajit Kumar, District Collector M.C. Mohandas, Commercial Taxes Commissioner K. Ravindra Kumar Agarwal, Deputy Commissioners (Intelligence) in charge of Ernakulam, Kozhikode, and Malappuram zones and Commercial Taxes Deputy Commissioner C. Lalappan attended the meeting.