West Bengal is likely to see a Rs 500 crore fall in sales tax collection under the value added tax (VAT) regime when it is implemented. Last year the state collected around Rs 4,200 crore of sales tax against a target of Rs 4,700 crore.
The West Bengal government has presented a Rs 800 crore deficit budget and a further shortfall of Rs 500 crore is likely to increase the shortfall by an equal amount.
The state will not be affected much in the first year because the government has promised to compensate the state governments to 100 per cent of the shortfall. The state will feel the pinch in the subsequent years when the compensation from the government is reduced to 75 per cent, and 50 per cent in the subsequent years.
On the issue of implementation of VAT, commissioner of commercial taxes, government of West Bengal, C M Bachhawat said that his department was making an all-out effort to familiarise VAT with the traders community and he has personally attended more than 200 meetings in the last four months to wipe off all confusions.
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