Covid-19 induced lockdown and Meghalaya's financial condition

Covid-19 phase has bought huge losses to every sector of life it health, be it employment or be it national finance. This article will put forward the financial condition of Meghalaya during and post- lockdown period.

The Covid 19 pandemic has not only affected human life but also the revenue of the states. The impact of the pandemic on the taxes of the state is almost close to Rs twenty-five hundred crores which is a cause of serious concern for the state, however, the good news is despite the Covid-19 pandemic which has severely affected economic activities in the State and the country as a whole and resulted in negative GDP growth.
Commissioner of Tax Arunkumar Kembhavi, however, said that Meghalaya has achieved positive revenue growth during this period.
"Tax collections in the year 2020-21 stood at Rs 1526.50 crore (provisional, expected to go up) compared to Rs 1488.37 crore in 2019-20 when GST compensation is not taken into account," Kembhavi said.
He said if GST compensation is considered, the revenue collection in 2020-21 stands at Rs 1698.87 crore (provisional) compared to Rs 1589.82 crore in 2019-20 showing a positive growth of 6.86%.
"GST revenue collection in March 2021 stood at Rs 101.75 crore compared to Rs 58.55 crore in March 2020 showing a phenomenal growth of 73.78%," he said
According to him, this achievement was possible due to several reforms implemented in the taxation department and the extra efforts put in by the officials of the department to improve the percentage of return submission by the taxpayers, disposal of the assessments and the focus on the recovery of arrears especially from bonded warehouses and petrol stations.
"GST revenue collection in March 2021 stood at Rs 101.75 crore compared to Rs 58.55 crore in March 2020 showing a phenomenal growth of 73.78%," he said
The department has also for the first time implemented the Tax Amnesty Scheme through the Meghalaya Settlement of Arrears Act, 2020 which has seen tremendous response from the tax defaulters having dues for several years.
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Image: representative image
Department also shifted the backend operating system for GST from NIC Meghalaya to the system developed by GSTN, New Delhi to further streamline the GST backend procedures. Kembhavi also said that they are optimistic about achieving double-digit growth in the financial year 2021-22, he added.
Meghalaya Chief Minister K Conrad Sangma recently said, "..overall we have seen almost close to Rs 2500 crore of impact is there on the taxes of the state which has affected a large number of development works but we are hopeful that in this financial year things should be far better compared to last financial year."
Asked about the impact of COVID 19 on state revenue, the CM said, "We are affected quite badly because of COVID and the overall taxes from Government of India there was a decrease of almost Rs 1700 crores in our share of central taxes from budget estimate to the actual amount that came to us."
Even in terms of the state's revenue, there is a large dip of almost about 24 per cent in terms of nontax revenue.
Optimist of reviving back, Sangma said, "…we have seen a slight increase in the state taxes as well as the excise amount that we received, so those were the only areas we managed to get a bit and a bit in the GST."

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