West Bengal Finance minister Amit Mitra Saturday said the Centre is on a spree to impose cess and surcharges to deny the states from getting their share of revenues. The Centre has increased cess and surcharges from eight to 16 per cent over and above the taxes so as not to share with the states, he told reporters here a day after the vote-on-account by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the state assembly.
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had already asked the Centre not to raise cess surcharges in this manner, he said. "The quantum of cess and surcharges have been increased from eight to 16 per cent by the Centre in the last several years. Since collection from cess and surcharges are not to be shared with the states, that is why they are being raised", he said.
About the vote-on-account, Mitra had said that the state's tax collection has increased 3.57 times since 2011 since Trinamool Congress came to power and its debt/GDP ratio had declined from 40.65 per cent in 2011 to 34.81 per cent at present. Banerjee had presented the Rs 2.99 lakh crore vote- on-account on Friday as the state polls are round the corner.
Mitra said fiscal deficit too had fallen from 4.24 per cent to 2.94 per cent in the latest count, he said. The finister minister said West Bengal's development expenditure had risen six times, capital expenditure 14 times and social expenditure 9.15 times.
Expenditure on physical infrastructure had increased 5.58 times since TMC came to power in 2011. According to him, the state government has taken massive strides in developing school and higher education, minority affairs and public works and in health expenditure.