Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, June 16:
Under fire from the Opposition over its failure to collect outstanding tax revenue in various sectors, the Odisha government today admitted that the dues amounted to a whopping Rs 51,941.13.
“Collection of commercial tax, water tax, electricity bill, mining revenue and other taxes amounting to Rs 51,941.13 crore is stalled due to court cases,” Finance Minister Pradip Amat said in the Assembly while replying to a series of questions on non-realisation of revenue from different sources.
As many as 7,180 cases were pending in different courts like Orissa High Court and the Supreme Court, the minister said.
While the highest amount of Rs 46,191.69 crore was pending against the mining sector, Rs 3563.28 crore also remained non-realised as commercial tax, Amat said adding unrealised water tax from companies amounted to Rs 738.89 crore.
The outstanding revenue on account of electricity bill and forest development tax were to the tune of Rs 1367.99 crore and Rs 52.29 crore respectively, he said.
Members cutting across party lines expressed concern over the issue during the question hour.
Raising the issue in the House, Leader of Opposition and senior Congress leader Narsingha Mishra flayed the government for its callousness in recovering the dues.
“At a time when we are crying for money and need money to fund development projects, the callousness of this government is baffling. Steps should be taken to ensure that the pending cases are disposed off soon”, Mishra said.
Another Congress MLA Naba Kishore Das said, “Mining revenue of Rs 65,000 crore is still pending. The house needs to be informed if this government is serious on recovering the dues and if the government is thinking of one time settlement (OTS) to expedite collection.”
Anshuman Mohanty, Yogesh Singh and Prafulla Majhi also expressed concern over the issue..
Ruling party MLAs Debasis Samantray, Amar Satapathy and Prafulla Samal also spoke on the issue and wanted to know about the steps being taken by the government for realisation of un-realised amount.
The finance minister said 107 cases regarding mining revenue are under consideration of the Central government’s Revision Authority.