Raids cast shadow on reforms
States well governed have earned well: Jaitley
The arrest of key Trinamool Congress leaders in the Rose Valley scam has cast its shadow on the already rocky relations between the Centre and non-BJP ruled states like Bengal.
Finance minister Aru Jaitley on Wednesday reeled off tax collection data to counter Bengal FM Amit Mitra’s charge that demonetisation has led to a drastic drop in Bengal’s tax revenues. There was evidence that the war of words between the Centre and non-BJP states are set to escalate even further.
Jaitley said, “states, which are governed well, have earned well”, responding to Mitra’s charge that Bengal had seen a 13 per cent drop in tax revenues post-demonetisation.
Pointing to Punjab and Haryana, which have seen satisfactory growth in their tax revenues after November 8, Jaitley said, “My assessment is that the larger integration of informal economy with the formal economy that will happen in the following quarter will lead to higher revenues for all. This is the purpose of this exercise (demonetisation).”
He added: “With a larger formal economy and integration of informal into formal, I think unless some state is very badly administered and lose out on investment, the revenues of others are going to increase.”
Jaitley had in his Union Budget for 2016-17 fiscal put gross tax revenue estimate at Rs 16.3 lakh crore, about 11 per cent higher than gross tax receipts of Rs 14.5 lakh crore for the previous fiscal.
“We will end this year with higher revenues both direct and indirect taxes, higher than budgeted. Not only are we going to reach the budget estimates, we will exceed the budget estimates both in direct tax and indirect tax this year,” he told reporters here.
Dismissing fears of slowdown in industrial activity post-demonetisation, the finance minister said that indirect tax collection in November alone grew 23.1 per cent to Rs 67,358 crore.