Maharashtra: Income from non-tax sources dips 26%

Sandeep A Ashar
For 2019-20, the government has estimated a total income of Rs 16,807 crore from non-tax revenue sources. The estimate is over 26 per cent lower than the target set in 2018-19.

Setting off alarm bells for the Maharashtra government, the state s non-tax revenues have taken a sharp fall. The state finance department has slashed the non-tax revenue target for this fiscal year by over a fourth.

For 2019-20, the government has estimated a total income of Rs 16,807 crore from non-tax revenue sources. The estimate is over 26 per cent lower than the target set in 2018-19.

In 2018-19, Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar had targeted an income of Rs 22,785 crore. But it fell way short of the target at the end of the year, with collections totalling Rs 17,050 crore. Non-tax revenue is the recurring income earned by the government from sources other than taxes. The most important receipts under this head are fees, charges and penalties levied under all departments and interest receipts.

Raising the red flag, the finance department has said that the share of non-tax revenue to total income would decline to 5.34 per cent in 2019-20. This is generally around 8 per cent, mentions a statement made by the department on the sustainability of the finances. The state s full budget for 2019-20 was presented on Tuesday. The statement was a part of the disclosures made regarding the government s tax policy.

Expressing concern over the sharp fall in revenues, the finance department has questioned the government s move to allow the five irrigation development corporations to retain income collected through water charges levied on beneficiaries from major, medium, and minor irrigation projects.

In November 2016, the Fadnavis government had adopted this move, contending it would avoid thin-spreading of funds, and empower the development corporations to expedite completion of projects. This has caused a sharp decrease in non-tax revenue, the finance department has said. It further states that it was necessary to review this decision.