Bengal surges ahead in developmental expenditure and tax collection

Bengal is surging ahead. The recent figures make it clear that Bengal offers a golden investment opportunity. Under the leadership of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee,  the Bengal Global Business Summit  2016 will bring together policy makers and business leaders from India and abroad to stimulate further investments, growth and development in Bengal.

The developmental expenditure and tax collection in Bengal now stand at far higher figures than what they were four years ago.

During the last four years:

• Bengal’s tax collection has increased by 200%

• The State’s Capital Expenditure (Asset Creating) has increased by 601%

• The State’s Agriculture and Rural Development Expenditure has increased 547%

• The State’s Physical Infrastructure Expenditure has increased by 330%

• Bengal’s Plan Expenditure has increased by 311%

• The State’s Social Infrastructure Expenditure has increased by 301%


“Self-assessed” property tax in Kolkata from next year

A property owner in the city will get the option of adopting the Unit Area Assessment (UAA) method of valuation from next April along with the existing method of determining property tax.

Kolkata Municipal Corporation officials believe the UAA system will make tax collection transparent, tax-paying easier and generate more revenue.

After the new method is introduced, corporation inspectors will not visit the taxpayers’ properties as they do now. Instead, taxpayers will make a self-assessment of their properties and fill in a self-declaration form sent by KMC.

The corporation will only charge 10% of the annual valuation of the property , which will be revised every six years, as property tax. This is applicable only if there are no additions or alterations of the property between two assessment years.

If owners make alterations to the property, they have to mention it in the form. If someone tries to hide it, there will be a high penalty, sources said. KMC will also send an objection form where a tax payer can argue against the existing tax rate.

Those who accept a flat 10% hike on annual valuation will be sent a re vised tax bill. Assessees who have made changes to their premises will be sent a fresh tax bill based on their declarations.

And those who disagree will have to submit the objection form that will then go to KMC assessment department for special hearing.


First published in The Times of India, 17.09.2015

The revival of Bengal’s Public Finances

West Bengal has gone through a significant transformation with the public finances. The state of the public finances was in a dilapidated condition when Mamata Banerjee took over as the Chief Minister of West Bengal.

Figures clearly show that the State’s fiscal measures have borne fruit:

  • Revenue Deficit (difference between budgeted net revenue and actual net revenue) which was 3.6% (2010-11) has declined over the years. It was 2.7% (2011-12) to 2.1% (2012-13) and is projected at 0.5% (2013-14). The Revenue Deficit has sharply fallen from Rs 21,578 crore (2009-10) to Rs 13,308 crore (2012-13) and to Rs 3,488 crore (2013-14).
  •  Gross Fiscal Deficit (difference between government’s expenditure and revenue expressed as a percentage of GDP/GSDP) which was 4.4% (2010-11) has also declined over the years. It was 3.3 % (2011-12) and in 2013-14, it is projected at 1.8%. In the non special category states, in terms of Gross Fiscal Deficit, West Bengal had second highest GFD (2011-12), while in 2013-14, 6 states are above WB.
  • The state’s own tax collection has increased historically. It was at Rs 22,000 crore (2011-12) and increased by more than 40% in 2012-13 and to Rs 39,100 crore (2013-14).
  • Capital Expenditure Disbursement (it is the expenditure on development of machinery, equipment, building and other infrastructure) a greater growth of infrastructure like roads, bridges etc) grew by 44% in 2012-13, from Rs 10,505 crore (2011-12) to Rs 15,137 crore (2012-13) and further to Rs 18,914 crore (2013-14).
  • The ‘Development Expenditure’ (as defined by RBI) has increased from 52% (2011-12) to 57% (2012-13 and 2013-14).
  • The ratio of own revenue generation to the revenue expenditure has significantly increased from 35.8% (2011-12) to 39.8% (2012-13) and to 45.2% (2013-14).


Note: The figures of 2010-11 and 2011-12 are actual figures while figures of 2012-13 are Revised Estimates and 2013-14 are Budget Estimates.

Source of data: RBI publications and State Budgets.