Slowdown in real estate hits Maharashtra government coffers

Oct 08, 2015, 13:55 IST | PTI

Slowdown in the realty industry has affected the revenue collection of Maharashtra government which is already reeling under financial constraints. Urban Development (UDD) and the Housing departments, expected to be the top revenue achievers for the government, have been under-achievers with a mere 3 per cent tax collection in the first two quarters of the financial year.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has instructed all departments to speed up recovery, issue pending Government Resolutions (GR) and push up redevelopment schemes. Sales Tax, excise and stamp duty are another major resources of income for the state.

Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar had assigned a revenue target of Rs 28,200 crore to the sales tax department for 2015-16.

"The figure of tax collections during last six months (April-September) has disappointed us. Sales Tax or revenue from VAT is the major source of revenue. But a slowdown in the construction industry has directly affected our revenue collection. We were expecting a revenue of Rs 2,500 crore but we could not achieve targets," Mungantiwar said.

Professional tax of Rs 309 crore has been collected in the first two quarters of the fiscal, up Rs 19 crore during the same period last year. This year's Professional tax target is Rs 888 crore. Road Transport department has so far collected Rs 2,214 crore against the annual target of Rs 5,693 crore.

Mungantiwar said the UDD and housing departments performance has been "disappointing". UDD collected Rs 173 crore against Rs 5,000 crore assigned in the Budget, while housing department collected mere Rs 19.86 crore in last six months against Rs 1,067 crore annual target.

"The average tax collection of both the department is about 3 to 4 per cent," he said.

Fadnavis recently took a review of the financial status of the state in a meeting and instructed officials to speed up the tax collection. "He has not indicated any increase of taxes nor has he asked to find an alternate source of revenue generation," Mungantiwar, who was a part of the meeting said.

According to Mungantiwar, Fadnavis has instructed to give an impetus to the Slum Rehabilitation Authorities pending scheme, speed up redevelopment plan of Bandra government colony and BDD chawls, and has ordered a cut on administrative expenses.

Finance minister was, however, hopeful that though financial constraints remain as of now, the government will achieve targets of revenue collection after December.

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