Govt Revenue Falls Sharply Due To Turmoil11 October 2010
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: The Government revenue has gone down sharply during second quarters of this financial year due to major disturbances in the Kashmir valley but the State has no proposal, at present, to exempt or waive off taxes of the traders. The Government was, however, confident that the revenue recoveries will pick up if the situation stabilized as it has started showing improvement during past more than a fortnight. The second quarter of the financial year 2010-11 from July 1 to September 30 has witnessed a steep decline in Government earning through Valued Added Tax (VAT) and some other form of taxes in the State as it was during this quarter that almost entire Kashmir valley was rocked by major disturbances leading to frequent strikes and imposition of curfew. 'The tax collection figures for second quarters of this fiscal year are being collected. They will be available in next few days and only then we will be in a position to assess exact revenue losses during the turmoil in Kashmir. But definitely, the Government earnings have gone down during this period due to frequent hartals’’, Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather told the Excelsior. As the trade suffered a major reverse in Kashmir and was also affected in Jammu region due to disturbances in the Valley, the Government revenue from VAT and other taxes has definitely gone down. However, exact losses suffered by the Government will be known when all concerned Departments compiled their figures during next few days, he said. Mr Rather expressed confidence that the Government would be in a position to make up for some losses suffered in second quarters if the situation continued to improve and business activities are back to normal in the third quarter. The Government has no proposal to exempt or waive off VAT or other taxes to business class for the period of turmoil in the Valley. 'Less or more, the traders have collected VAT and other taxes from the consumers for the goods sold by them. The taxes, which have been collected by the businessmen from the consumers, can’t be exempted or waived off. The traders have to pay those taxes to the Government’’, the Finance Minister said. According to preliminary Government estimates, the State income has been badly hit by nearly four month long trouble in the Valley. While the revenue during first quarter of this financial year was almost normal, it was the second quarter where the State income has suffered a major loss. Impact of the agitation could be felt even in the third quarter that began on October 1 as the round of frequent hartals is still on in Kashmir. According to sources, since there were very less or even negligible sales during second quarters of this fiscal year in the entire Valley, this has caused a major impact on VAT and other taxes generated from the sales, which goes to the Government’s kitty. The Valley turmoil has also impacted the business in Jammu leading to further downfall in the Government income, they said. Sources confirmed that some traders in Kashmir have not deposited the taxes with the concerned departments anticipating that they would be waived off by the Government due to disturbances. However, they said, there was no plan with the Government to exempt the taxes which the traders have collected from the consumers. Such kind of taxes can never be waived off, they added.