The state has till now garnered Rs 1025 crore in revenue from the department as opposed to the target of Rs 1389 crore, according to the documents available with The Indian Express.
Jharkhand seems likely to fall short of this fiscal’s excise revenue target, mainly owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to an Excise and Prohibition Department meeting held Thursday.
The state has also failed to achieve the December 15 target of Rs 1,389 crore, earning Rs 1,025 crore from the department, according to documents seen by The Indian Express.
“From Rs 961.67 in the fiscal year 2016-2017 to Rs 2,009.26 crore in FY20, the state has improved revenue generation. This fiscal year, we set a target of Rs 2,300 crore. But due to the pandemic, it is unlikely we will achieve it,” said an official aware of the discussions during the meeting.
More than 90% of this revenue comes from retail outlets which were shut from March 22-May 19 because of the pandemic.
Explaining the shift in revenue, a government source said the state-owned Jharkhand State Beverages Corp. Ltd (JSBCL) took over the liquor business, including wholesale and retail, from August 1, 2017. JSBCL’s target for the first year was pegged at Rs 1,500 crore.
“The idea to give JSCBL the powers to run retail businesses turned out to be flawed and that is when we lost most of the revenue. Later, the government shifted to the old system of auctioning it to private players and that is the time when the department started getting more revenue,” this source said.
At the meeting, in which Chief Minister Hemant Soren was also present, excise officials compared Jharkhand’s situation with that of neighbouring Chhattisgarh. “In FY20, Chhattisgarh earned Rs 4,950 crore from excise employing 871 people. In Jharkhand, the manpower stands at 207 even though it has provision for over 1,000 personnel. This has a bearing on revenue generation,” the first official quoted above said.
The department had also imposed an additional VAT of 25% during the pandemic, which is being reviewed now.
As per a release by the department after the meeting, CM Soren said: “This department is one of the important sources of revenue for the state. Fill the vacant posts so that one should not lose the revenue.”
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