West Bengal seems to have fared well in its own tax collections ever since the Mamata Banerjee government came into power in 2011.
The reason for this is the full computerisation of the finance department and compulsory e tendering introduced by government institutions, says economist Abhirup Sarkar, chairman of the West Bengal Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation(WBIDFC).
“The process of e tendering implemented by the state Government makes all buying by the Government transparent. Earlier there was dependence on paper and therefore things were not all that transparent. Also, simplification of the sales tax or VAT collection process has ensured
that the state earns higher tax revenue”, Sarkar told Millennium Post.
According to the latest RBI report, West Bengal’s own tax revenue increased by 5.2 per cent in 2012-13 to 5.7 per cent in 2014-15. “The new Government took a bit of time to turn things around after it came to power in 2011. But within a couple of years there was significant growth in revenue as tax compliance had increased compared to the Left Front regime,” explained Sarkar.
Interestingly, Bengal’s collections were better in 2014-15 than states like Odhisa, Kerala, Rajasthan and Punjab.
The Chief Minister recently shared on her Facebook page that the Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS) of the state’s Finance Department has been awarded the highest Award of Excellence (1st Prize) by Computer Society of India-Nihilent. “This System has ensured faster fund movement to all offices and grants-in-aid institutions ensuring faster execution of development schemes and disbursement of scholarships and pensions”, Banerjee said, explaining how computerisation has aided the state’s financial growth.
Out of about 250 nominations from different states all over India, 53 qualified for the final round but Bengal topped, the Chief Minister said.