Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang assured the public that the government is not inclined to burden them with additional taxes. While acknowledging the concerns over depleting tax collection, the CM speaking at the budget session of the Sikkim Assembly, expressed the government's commitment to explore new revenue sources.
The session witnessed active participation from legislators across party lines, including former CM Pawan Chamling and BJP President DR Thapa, who raised various concerns and suggestions.
During the session, CM Tamang emphasized the need to address the state's expenditure challenges and mentioned the government's focus on fulfilling liabilities and repaying loans. However, he highlighted the efforts being made to generate revenue from alternative sources. The government has implemented environmental cess and is exploring revenue opportunities in the excise department.
According to the revenue figures presented in the assembly, Sikkim witnessed a 7% growth in actual revenue collection during the financial year 2019-20 compared to the previous year. Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state managed a 5% revenue growth in the financial year 2020-21. The financial year 2021-22 recorded a healthy revenue growth of 19%, reaching Rs. 1935.04 crores.
To further enhance revenue generation, the government has introduced an Eco System Service Cess on pharmaceuticals and hydro projects operating in Sikkim, which has already yielded Rs. 154 crores under the Forest department. Additionally, measures such as prepaid energy meters and online systems for excise-related activities have been implemented to curb revenue leakages.
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