State excise and taxation minister Sardool Singh said last week that the substantial rise in revenue collection had been possible due to the various proactive steps taken by the government. Approximate tax collection in October 2005 itself was Rs 620.23 crore, this included collection of value added tax (Vat) of Rs 463.86 crore, central sales tax of Rs 30.06 crore, excise duty and license fee of Rs 125.79 crore and entertainment duty of Rs 0.42 crore.
Interestingly, Vat, which was once opposed by the Bharatiya Janta Party and Shiromani Akali Dal, has shown record collections. Haryana, too, has implemented Vat and has shown higher revenue collection. While the hill states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal have also implemented Vat, adjoining Uttar Pradesh had refused to follow suit.
Punjab government sources said collection under Vat in September registered a growth of 129.5%. Due to efforts made by the directorate of enforcement and its mobile wings, 520 cases under Section 51 of Punjab Value Added Tax (PVAT) were detected during September. Out of a total of 557 cases, 495 have been decided and a penalty of Rs 269.96 lakh imposed on evaders.
The campaign against smuggling of liquor and illicit distillation had also led to detection of 1,735 cases. Approximately 14,967 litres of illicit liquor, 44,1414 kg Lahan, 635 litre smuggled liquor and 129 working stills were destroyed.
However, Mr Singh said various representations regarding difficulties in PVAT implementation had been received from trade and industrial associations and were discussed in the core group. The issues will now be taken up by the cabinet sub-committee at the earliest, he added.