GUWAHATI, June 3 - After several weeks of slowdown, Assam has seen an upward trend in revenue collection in May, with the hike in liquor taxes shoring up the excise department�s collections.
Collection from liquor taxes during May has been estimated at Rs 126 crore, which is Rs 3 crore more than the corresponding month last year. From tax on foreign liquor, the State had got Rs 6 crore in April and Rs 65 crore in March.
Of course, the State government hiked the liquor taxes by around 25 per cent from May to offset the losses suffered during the lockdown period. The fuel taxes were also raised by Rs 5. The State can impose taxes on only liquor and fuel.
While the total revenue collection in April was Rs 193 crore, in May it rose to around Rs 360 crore. In May last year, the State�s revenue collection was Rs 693 crore.
�When compared to the corresponding period last year, the drop in revenue collection was 80 per cent in April. In May this year, we managed to collect over 40 per cent of what it was in corresponding month last year,� a finance department official said.
The excise department is one of the major contributors to the State coffers. Liqour shops were closed during the initial lockdown period, but they opened in the later phase.
�Even in May they were closed for several days, on account of the restructuring of taxes and holidays. But despite that, the revenue collection increased,� an official said.
In 2019-20, the excise department revenue stood at Rs 1,650 crore, registering an 18 per cent jump despite being hit by the CAA protests and COVID-19 towards the end of the financial year. Many licensees are also yet to pay their renewal fee which was due in February-March and April.