“There was a decrease in tax collection on cigarette, and bidis after the tax was hiked from 20 per cent to 27 per cent. We expected that the collection will be more but it did not come as expected,” Chief Minister Mukul Sangma told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.
In 2014-15, when the tax was 20 per cent, he said the state generated Rs 33.44 crore. However, after the government hiked the tax to 27 per cent in 2015-16, Dr Sangma said the collection was Rs 36.09 crore and Rs 31.48 crore.
Dr Sangma, who also holds the Finance portfolio, did not rule out the likelihood of tax evasion for the low realisation of tax, while revealing that “unauthorised brands” of cigarettes and bidis coming to Meghalaya from outside. The cabinet also approved the proposal to amend rule 327 of the Meghalaya excise rules in order to increase the profit of IMFL retailers from 10 per cent to 20 per cent on MRP (maximum retail price).
Meanwhile, the cabinet also approved the proposal for signing a tripartite agreement to implement the centrally-sponsored Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) for providing electricity in villages yet to be electrified.
The ratio of funding for this scheme would be 85:15 between the Centre and the state government.
Image Source: The New Indian Express | Source: TNT-TheNortheastToday