AP's revenues shoot up amid the gloom

PTI | Vijayawada | Updated: 17-10-2021 14:33 IST | Created: 17-10-2021 14:33 IST
AP's revenues shoot up amid the gloom
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By Surya Desaraju Amaravati, Oct 17 (PTI): The various taxes and levies, hiked in the name of Covid-19 last year, seem to be paying off as the Andhra Pradesh government earned an extra Rs 12,052.29 crore in tax revenue in the first five months of the 2021-22 financial year.

The state's revenue in all was an extra Rs 15,688.46 crore from April to August this year, compared to the corresponding period last year, state accounts by the Comptroller and Auditor General revealed.

At the same, the state almost exhausted its targeted borrowing estimate, securing loans to the tune of Rs 36,976.93 crore (99.86 per cent) in the first five months itself.

As per CAG accounts, AP's revenue from April to August was Rs 53,159.11 crore, compared to Rs 37,470.65 crore last year.

While tax revenue increased by over Rs 12,000 crore, non-tax revenue too showed a spike of Rs 423.12 crore and Central grants by Rs 3,213 crore.

But, the revenue deficit mounted to a staggering Rs 31,188.49 crore in five months against the annual target of only Rs 5,000 crore.

Capital expenditure, however, took a dip from Rs 8,608.64 crore last year to Rs 5,482.53 crore this year, indicating the state spent Rs 3,125.76 crore less on development works.

At the same time, the revenue expenditure, which includes numerous freebie doles, shot up to Rs 84,347.60 crore as against Rs 75,669.98 crore in the corresponding period last year.

Citing loss of revenue due to the Covid-19-induced lockdown last year, the state enhanced various taxes to fetch an additional Rs 20,000 crore revenue per annum.

Among the additional levies were a Rs 4,500 crore 'prohibition tax' on liquor, Rs 600 crore revised tax on petrol and diesel, another Rs 600 crore (road development) cess on petrol and diesel, Rs 300 crore levy on natural gas, Rs 2,000 crore tax on properties in urban local bodies and Rs 350 crore 'user charges' on garbage.

The land values in urban areas have been hiked by 10 to 30 per cent to realise an additional Rs 800 crore. The professional tax was increased for an additional income of Rs 161 crore.

''We are now reaping the benefits of the tax hike but the mounting revenue deficit is still a worrying factor. The revenues may be looking good but we are still in the red,'' a top Finance official pointed out.

Besides, the spiralling revenue expenditure was also a cause for concern, with interest payment (on loans) alone touching Rs 8,187.12 crore in the first five months.

''Bulk of our revenue is going towards salaries, pensions and loan repayments. Not a single rupee is available for any other thing, leave alone development works. We are borrowing heavily to keep the freebie schemes going and that is reflecting in our accounts,'' the bureaucrat noted.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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