Amid falling tax collections, Chief Minister Adityanath on Saturday asked officials to prepare a roadmap for shoring up revenues, which have received a beating over the past two months following the nationwide lockdown.
On Wednesday, the state government had announced a tax hike for liquor and fuel, which is expected to yield additional tax revenue of just Rs 4,420 crore to the exchequer during the current financial year 2020-21.
Considering that the UP tax collection in April 2020 stood at Rs 1,178 crore against the target of Rs 12,141 crore, the state government is hard pressed to explore additional sources of revenue to meet its commitments. For example, the monthly salary and pension bill of 1.6 million employees and 1.2 million pensioners alone costs nearly Rs 12,500 crore to the exchequer.
Chairing a review meeting here, Adityanath directed the revenue minister and other senior officials to look at additional sources of revenue and accelerate tax collection.
“The CM has directed the revenue department to take urgent steps to boost tax collection,” UP additional chief secretary Awanish Kumar Awasthi told the media here this evening, adding the meeting was also attended by the chief secretary, agricultural production commissioner (APC) and infrastructure and industrial development commissioner (IIDC).
He said the CM has envisioned developing UP as a garment export hub and to utilise the services of the migrant labourers in such enclaves. Besides, the state is proactively reopening industrial units and estates, which have been lying shut due to the lockdown.
Recently, the state proposed an amendment in the labour laws through the ordinance route to relax compliance for employers and allow for speedy resumption of industrial activities and smoother hiring process.
“The CM has directed for creating fresh job opportunities for 2 million people, especially the incoming migrant labourers. While, a roadmap is being prepared for this purpose, there was an urgent need to usher in major labour reforms as well,” Awasthi said, adding the government would ensure that the interest of labourers was protected.
So far, 114 ‘Shramik Special’ trains have arrived in UP carrying more than 120,000 stranded labourers from different states, mainly Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab, Karnataka etc.
“We have given the permission for 98 more trains, while the process of granting permission to 15-20 more trains is underway,” he said, adding the state was now planning to facilitate the arrival of 30-40 trains daily to accelerate the process of bringing back stranded workers.
Meanwhile, the first international flight from Sharjah, carrying about 200 Indian workers, is scheduled to arrive in Lucknow tonight.
Currently, the state has 1,800 active covid-19 cases, while 1,399 patients have been discharged after treatment. The state’s recovery rate is also higher at 42 per cent compared to the national average of about 29 per cent.