Agartala: The state government had a deficit in the overall collection of taxes in the last two months following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic, said Tripura law minister Ratan Lal Nath.

Speaking at a press conference, Nath said that in the last two months (April and May), Rs 228.48 crore was collected as taxes amidst the ongoing lockdown.

“The state government has set a target of Rs 2,466.95 crore for 2020-21 fiscal year, of which in the first two months, Rs 228.48 crore was collected. In April, the collection was Rs 106.59 crore and in May it was Rs 121.88 crore,” Nath said.

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He also said that in 2018-19 the target was Rs 1,654.24 crore, while the total collection was Rs 1,780.47 crore.

“The state government had more collection than the set target in the first year after formation of the new government. While, in 2019-20 the target was Rs 2,169.16 crore, the collection was Rs 2,100.78 crore,” Nath added.

He also said that in 2017-18 the total collection was only Rs 1,452 crore. The growth rate in the year 2018-19 was 23%, while in 2019-20 it was 18%.

Earlier on May 22, Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb had said that tax revenue collection in the state had fallen to 20% in the last three months, adding that the share of taxes had fallen by 30% in recent times.

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The state cabinet had also decided to cut short the expenditures in all departments, state PSUs, co-operatives, societies, local bodies, both rural and urban, and other autonomous bodies.

“All the government departments have been asked to reduce their expenditures and other contingent expenditure by 15%. The departments have been asked to make rational use of central government funds allocated under flagship schemes so that there’s no pressure on the state government funds. The departments were also asked to ensure a minimum growth of 10% in non-tax revenue collections,” the minister added.

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