Govt sets target of Rs 1,500 crore GST revenue for 2019-20

Meghalaya facing loss in some sectors: Conrad

SHILLONG: With a total of 29,000 GST payers in the state, the state government has set an ambitious target of Rs 1,500 crore of GST revenue collection for the financial year of 2019-2020.
Informing this during a training programme on GST for State Tax Officers at KJP Synod Conference Hall on Monday, State Commissioner of Taxes Arun Kumar Kembhavi informed that the GST collection for 2018-19 is Rs 878 crore and Rs 500 crore in 2017-18.
Despite the increase in the revenue collection, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma was reportedly disappointed that the state is facing a huge GST loss in some sectors.
He went on to say that most sectors, including private run sectors are not being monitored accurately.
Stating that GST collection of Rs 878 crore for 2018-19 financial year is the bare minimum, he said that there is huge potential when it comes to increasing the revenue.
“There is a huge GST loss that we are facing in some sectors. I am studying the data and I see that there is a lot of loss in GST revenue collection that is happening. Mining is one of our great concern, we are looking at ways to plug in the loopholes. We are working on ways to improve the revenue collection for the state.”
With the overhaul of the tax and revenue collection seen as an important measure to plug in loopholes and increase revenue, he stressed on the importance of having such training programmes for all revenue generating departments.
He pointed out that Meghalaya is 85 to 86 per cent dependant on Central Government revenue sources while the source of the state is 15 to 16 per cent. In this connection, he said, “Why can we increase this number beyond 25 or 30 per cent?”
Later, while speaking to reporters, Sangma outlined an ambitious roadmap for the state by pitching steep targets for departments to achieve.
He said that the state government is pushing for targets much higher in comparison to earlier and is looking for a 50 to 100 per cent jump in every department.
He was optimistic, given the fact, that the set targets are achieved.
“We are looking at what we have experienced and seen that whenever targets are given big or small, they are achieved. We are inspired by that to push it even further. That is the reason why such steep targets are being given. Some people might say that it is very steep but I think until and unless we don’t push ourselves we won’t be able to achieve,” he said.
 He informed that departments are working aggressively including the Taxation, Mining, Excise and Transport departments.
Tax evasion
With no punitive action taken against tax evaders, Sangma said that ever since GST was introduced in the state, the state government found that not much effort was being made to try to find out whether people were evading tax or not.
“With the fact that GST is a relatively new system, it will take some time for the officials to get used to it and understand what it is all about. It has made it difficult for them to go and push the limit and try to catch those who are evading,” he said.
He informed that the state government is trying to systematise and organise the existing system and figure out the challenges in the process.
“But the fact that we have not been able to catch anybody is not a good sign and that’s the reason why that aspect has been brought in and these trainings have been organised. The idea is to push everybody and to try to ensure that not only our revenue goes up in the normal collection and more people come into the GST loop, but people who are evading taxes should also come in as well,” Sangma said.
He also expressed hope that the trainings will help officials to catch those who are evading taxes.

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