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The Uttar Pradesh government on Monday said there has been an increase in its total collections of tax and non-tax revenue by about Rs 2,522 crore in December 2020 vis-à-vis its performance on this front in December 2019.

Its total collections in the first three quarters of 2020-2021 (April 1, 2020 to December 31, 2021) have also improved considerably. The total receipts for the financial year, however, are still behind the overall targets and authorities are hoping for an improvement in the last quarter (January 1 to March 31 2021) amid the fight against Covid-19.

State finance minister Suresh Khanna said, “Yes, our revenue collection is witnessing an upward trend since July 2020 despite the adverse impact that Covid-19 had on the state’s economy. We are recovering from the economic slowdown under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and directions of chief minister Yogi Adityanath. We hope to bring about a further improvement in the state’s total revenue collections in the fourth quarter of 2021-22.”

For the first time since the lifting of restrictions, the state transport department’s collections have also increased. The state transport department’s total collections in December 2020 reached Rs 734.44 crore against the month’s target of Rs 648.75 crore and receipts of Rs 551.39 crore in the same month in 2019. The state government’s excise collections have also exceeded the targets in December 2020. A total excise duty realisation of Rs 3149.04 crore has been made against a target of Rs 3090 crore and receipts of Rs 2,106.14 crore in the same month in 2019.

An increase in the transport department’s revenue collections is a reflection of an easier movement following gradual lifting of Covid-19 restrictions.

A close scrutiny of the state government’s performance in the first three quarters indicates that its total collections remained at about Rs 80,006.34 crore between April 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020. This is about 65.7% of the target of Rs 1,21,845.42 crore for the same period.

The state government’s shortfall in the revenue collections vis-à-vis the targets, however, remains an area of major concern for the authorities ahead of formulation of the state budget for 2021-22.

As there was no winter session of the state legislature, the state government is likely to convene the budget session soon to present the budget for 2021-22. The annual budget is likely to pose a great challenge as this would be the Yogi government’s last full-fledged budget before the state goes into poll mode for 2022 assembly elections.

Experts suggest that besides reviewing the receipts, the state government should also consistently monitor its expenditure that may help in giving a boost to development and the economy.

“This clearly shows that the state’s economy is bouncing back. We hope the revenue collection will improve further in the last quarter of 2021-22. The state government should also review its expenditure and stick to meeting the targets as the government spending acts works like a stimulus to the economy,” said Yashvir Tyagi, former professor of the department of economics, Lucknow University.