Mumbai: After demonetisation, speculation was rife that the sales tax collection of Maharashtra would nosedive, but figures displayed by the department shows that there has been a 13 per cent rise in sales tax collection vis-a-vis the previous year.
The state finance department, which was earlier apprehensive of meeting its target of Rs 90,985 crore, is now confident of reaching its goal. The sales tax collection has surprised the department, as the stamp duty collection dipped by Rs 1,000 crore. It may be recalled that the Centre announced demonetisation on November 8, 2016.
According to the data from the finance department, the state has collected Rs 75,194 crore in the form of sales tax in January 2017. The tax collection in January 2016 was Rs 66,262 crore. “There is straight growth of 13.48 per cent. The collection in December 2016 was Rs 66,352, which was 12.78 per cent higher than December 2015 collection. Our target was Rs 90,985 gross revenue through sales tax that will be achieved looking at the collection in the last two months,” a department official said.
Asked about the unexpected rise in the sales tax collection post demonetisation, the official said that the government had feared it would affect the situation badly. “The government had thought that the sales tax collection would not achieve its target due to demonetisation, but contrary to the norms, sales tax has increased. One possibility could be that the people preferred dealing in cards and digital payment in the absence of cash. The traders had to pay the sales tax in that case, as they could not hide their earnings. This automatically helped the sales tax to grow,” the official said.
On the other hand, the inspector general of registration (IGR) offices in Maharashtra earned Rs 17,244 crore by the end of January 2016 from stamp duty collection. This year, however, the collection was Rs 16,254 crore till January end — a drop of Rs 1,000 crore. N. Ramswami, IGR and controller of stamps said, “It is a state-wide phenomenon. After demonetisation, there has been some slowdown in the market in terms of sale and purchase of property. The effect is going to be there for some time.”