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Battle for UP causes collateral damage

Lucknow, Feb 14: Uttar Pradesh’s revenue has taken a big hit — first due to demonetisation and now because most government employees are out on election duty. Officials in the concerned departments fear that the revenue targets for the current fiscal might take a knock of 25-30 per cent. The Sales Tax Department, an official said, has seen a drop in collections in the past three months.

While it earned Rs 4,494 crore in tax in November, the collection slipped in December and is set to go down further in January and February due to engagement of employees and officials in election duty.

The Excise Department, the cash cow, has also taken a beating in revenue collection. An official said that as against a target of Rs 1,443 crore in December, the collection was down at Rs 1,345 crore.

With elections for the 403-seat Uttar Pradesh assembly underway, even sale of liquor has fallen, partly because of strictures from the Election Commission. The stamp and registration revenue target was Rs 12,130 crore but has been downsized in a big way, with collections dropping to Rs 9,222 crore.

The target for this month has been scaled down to Rs 13,953 crore from Rs 16,319.60 crore (a loss of Rs 2,366 crore).

The Sales and Trade Tax target has been revised from Rs 57,940.30 crore to Rs 51,508.93 crore. The ongoing elections have also hit hearings and disposal at revenue courts. (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita