The Central government's demonetisation drive has hit the Bengal economy hard, said state Finance minister Amit Mitra. The minister said that the state government faced a critical situation after demonetisation. It had an impact on the state revenue collection in compared to the previous year.
"In December 2015, the Bengal government recorded 11 per cent growth. But in December 2016, the revenue declined 2 per cent," Mitra said on Saturday at the sideline of pre-budget interactive session with Chambers of Commerce and trade bodies.
"I must admit that traders are facing tough time after demonetisation. Many factories had shut its shops, many people lost their jobs. We must recall that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was first to react against it. She had tweeted that the country is approaching financial emergency," Mitra said.
He said that the state government will help the business community to bring back a good quality tax revenue collection which had been hit during the demonetisation.
"Bengal improved a lot in the tax revenue collection. The state government used toreceived tax revenue around Rs 21,000 crore five years ago. Now the government is receiving around Rs 44,000 crore," Mitra said.
Mitra also explained how this sharp improvement has happened. "Bengal has started its e-taxation system, which is now a model to follow for rest of the country. The state government received award for this reform by the Centre. It is such an easy to use system," Mitra said.
"State government employees get their salaries in their bank accounts. The retired employees get their pension in their bank accounts. We successfully used e-Kuber which is the Core Banking Solution of Reserve Bank of India," he said.
Nineteen chambers of commerce, 38 delegates participated in the pre-budget interactive session. They discussed various
issues including goods and services tax.