New Delhi: West Bengal has an estimated ₹ 43,000 crore shortfall in GST revenues in the April-June quarter and giving incentives for digital transactions would put only more pressure on the exchequer, state finance minister Amit Mitra said on Saturday.
“It is estimated that in the first quarter of this fiscal there has been a ₹ 43,000 crore shortfall in GST revenue collection. In the middle of this loss, if you give away revenue on incentives in this and that, then that’s a problem," Mitra told reporters after the 29th meeting of the GST Council in New Delhi.
The goods and services tax (GST) Council on Saturday decided to roll out on pilot basis digital payments incentives through cash back to consumers and the GSTN and NPCI will soon develop the system for the same. A group of ministers (GoM), headed by Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Modi, on Friday worked out a mode for incentivising digital payments under the GST by way of giving cash backs to Rupay card and BHIM app users.
Mitra, who is a member of the GoM, had earlier this week written to Modi stating that he is not in favour of giving such incentives. “If we now give incentive for digital payments and reduce revenues, then the shortfall will increase. If we give one incentive today, then tomorrow we will have to give 10 other incentives," Mitra said.
According to the incentive plan, a cash back of 20% of the total tax amount, subject to a maximum of ₹ 100, would be given to users of Rupay cards and BHIM app. Mitra said after the technology for digital incentive is developed it would be brought back to the GST Council.
“After that if any state wants to give this incentive they can volunteer and a pilot will happen which will give an assessment of the revenue impact. This will involve refund of a very complex nature. The Council today decided to roll it out on public basis. So if our state do not want to lose taxes from GST, then we can choose not to join this," Mitra said.
In the current fiscal, the month-wise revenue mopped up from GST stood at ₹ 1.03 lakh crore in April, ₹ 94,016 crore in May, ₹ 95,610 crore in June and ₹ 96,483 crore in July.