The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has pulled up the Maharashtra government for its slow progress in recovery of taxes and arrears amounting to over Rs one lakh crore for the financial year 2015-16. According to the CAG report, tabled in the state assembly on Friday, lack of efforts in developing recovery module has affected the rate of recovery, resulting in piling of disposal cases and recovery figures getting shrunk further. The report stated the arrears of revenue as on March 31, 2016 under major heads of revenue amounted to Rs 1,09,306.77 crore, of which the amount of Rs 27,821.76 crore is outstanding for more than five years.
Surprisingly, VAT and sales tax put together, the total arrears are of Rs 1,07,503.25 crore, of which VAT arrears stood at Rs 80,505.50 crore, while those with sales tax were Rs 26,997.75 crore. It further said out of Rs 1,07,503.25 crore, an amount of Rs 43,207.94 crore was locked up in departmental appeals, Rs 28,117.12 crore was in arrears on account of cases pending with court, official liquidator, debt recovery tribunal, non-traceable dealers and so on. The remaining Rs 36,178.19 crore was in different stages of recovery. Under the large taxpayers’ unit category, the percentage of pending cases rose from 55 per cent in 2013-14 to 69 per cent in 2015-16.
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Similarly, the percentage of pendency of cases allotted for business audit increased from 44 per cent in 2013-14 to 74 per cent in 2015-16. The CAG report also stated Rs 26,172.02 crore (24.34 per cent of total pending arrears) in respect of 25,454 cases were pending for recovery for more than five years. When it comes to recovery of arrears, the amount due for recovery in 2015-16 is Rs 2,03,607.23 crore as against Rs 1,72,405.93 crore in 2014-15. The actual recovery in 2015-16 stood at Rs 3,262.29 crore, down as compared to Rs 3,679.46 crore in the previous fiscal, the report said. The CAG also came down heavily on the disposal of cases by the sales tax department.
The disposal of the cases as compared to the target fixed had shown a declining trend at each level between 2013-14 and 2015-16. At the joint commissioner level, the percentage of non-disposal increased from 56.51 per cent to 77.20 per cent. Similarly, at the deputy commissioner level, it increased from 66.63 per cent to 82.85 per cent. During the year 2013-14, arrears of Rs 22,444.18 crore that is 25.94 per cent of total pending recovery, was locked up in departmental appeal. It further increased to Rs 37,736.23 crore (31.86 per cent of total pending recovery) in 2014-15 and Rs 43,207.94 crore (40.19 per cent of total pending recovery) in 2015-16.