Dip in mining revenue may affect budget

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Bhubaneswar, Jan 27 (IANS) The decrease in mining revenue is likely to affect Odisha’s budget plan, even as the state government is discussing with experts and stake holders the contours of the annual budget for the next fiscal (2015-16) here Tuesday.

The budget will be presented in the state assembly Feb 16.

Mining royalty collection, which accounts lion share in state revenue, has come down by about 24 percent in April-November this year against 2013-14 collection in the same period following closure of many mines and court cases.

The target of mining revenue for the year 2014-15 was Rs.6,346 crore, said a mines official.

The cut in oil prices in the wake of falling global oil prices has also resulted in a revenue loss even as the state government has recently hiked VAT by three percent to adjust the revenue deficit.

“There was decrease in mining revenue collection in the state. However, we are trying to meet the target by March 31 to generate more revenue in the sector. Besides, we stand to lose about Rs.200 crore revenue from petroleum products,” state Finance Minister Pradeep Amat told reporters here.

Focusing on collection of more revenue in the coming budget, Amat said the government would try to go for amicable settlement with state and central PSUs and others, which have moved various courts against imposition of taxes.

The state government is also unsure about the quantum of central assistance to the state in the coming financial year.

“This is the last year of 13th Finance Commission. The first year of 14th Finance Commission will start in 2015-16. The planning commission has also been abolished and the NITI Ayog has come. So, what would be the impact of central assistance will come only after central budget. We will accordingly fine tune in the supplementary budget,” said Finance secretary R. Balakrishnan.

He, however, said the experts have advised to give more focus on removing poverty on agriculture sector and removing the unemployment problems.

“The approach would be how to maximise the revenue collection. Second thing is how to make the expenditure success-oriented,” said Balkrishnan.

Former finance ministers, former finance secretaries and senior officials of the state Finance department were present in the pre-budget meeting.

While the state has projected a total collection of over Rs.27,886 crore revenue in 2014-15, data shows that collection of state tax and non-tax revenue by November stood at Rs.14,919.65 crore, out of which Rs.10,939.92 crore was the tax revenue collection.

The total revenue collection had dipped by 3.69 percent in April-November compared to corresponding period last year, said an official of the finance department.

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