Union Territory recovering from economic slump

The Union Territory has almost come out of COVID-19 induced economic slump with government lifting restrictions on a gradual basis.

Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy who convened a meeting of Finance Department officials was given a detailed presentation on Monday.

A senior official told The Hindu that on the tax collection front, the Union Territory was slowly moving towards pre-COVID period levels.

Good momentum

The tax collection had started picking up in August, the official said adding there had been good momentum last month.

“But for a slight variation, we can say that we have reached almost normal tax collection. Our overall tax collection, including commercial, excise, registration, property registration, vehicle registration, non-tax revenue sectors (electricity tariff collection), used to be between ₹300 crore and ₹350 crore per month,” he said.

The Union Territory which was walking a tightrope on the financial front after grant-in-aid from the Centre started gradually coming down since a separate account was opened for the Union Territory in the Reserve Bank of India in 2007, has almost drained its resources.

The complete lockdown of business activity due to COVID-19 restrictions till May had shut off avenues of revenue generation, the official said.

During pre-COVID times, on an average per month, the territory collected around ₹120 crore as GST/VAT, ₹70 crore as excise duty, ₹10 crore from registration of vehicles, ₹7 crore from property registration and tariff collected on utility front.

Officials in the Commercial Taxes Department said once the hospitality sector become more vibrant, tax collection would further improve. However, tax buoyancy was yet to be witnessed in property and heavy vehicle registration, the official also said.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2021 8:42:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/union-territory-recovering-from-economic-slump/article33163865.ece

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