Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said tax collections would exceed the 2016-2017 Union Budget’s estimate of Rs 16.3 lakh crore, The Indian Express reported on Thursday. After a pre-Budget meeting with state finance ministers on Wednesday, Jaitley said demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes had not affected revenue collections.
“We will end this year with higher revenues, both [in] direct and indirect taxes,” Jaitley said. “Not only are we going to reach the budget estimates, we will exceed the budget estimates both in direct tax and indirect tax this year,” he said.
The finance minister’s remarks came even as states asked the Centre to relax limits imposed by the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2003, allowing them to borrow more money from the market. Many states and Union Territories, including Delhi and West Bengal, also reported a fall in their revenues.
However, states such as Assam and Punjab reported a rise in revenues. “We have asked the states to furnish the data and also give us the comparative data of [the] last two-three years so that we can study month-to-month pattern[s],” Jaitley said.
At the meeting, states also emphasised on the need for a financial stimulus, high allocations for National Rural Employment Generation Programmes and the expansion of banking services in rural areas. Indirect tax collections rose by 26.2% to Rs 5.52 lakh crore in the April-November period against the year’s target of 10.8%, Business Standard reported.