The excise revenue and GST collections in the state in 2022–23 are much higher when compared to their collections in 2021–22. The excise revenue collection has risen by 31 percent and the GST collection by 21 percent.
According to official sources, the collection of excise revenue was Rs 1,930 crore in 2021–22, and the collection increased to Rs 2,526 crore in 2022–23. Likewise, the GST/Non-GST collection was Rs 16,347 crore in 2021–22, and it increased to Rs 19,683 crore in 2022–23.
According to official sources, some of the reasons behind such a steep upsurge in the collection of excise revenue are the introduction of the transit pass system and hologram, which prevented illegal movement and sales of liquor to a large extent. Excise sleuths also successfully cracked down on the consignments of liquor that entered Assam illegally from Arunachal Pradesh. The conversion of around 400 bars in rural areas into wine shops has also added to the excise revenue upsurge.
Departmental sources attribute the increase in the collection of GST/non-GST to the fast post-COVID economic activity. The department also carried out a massive operation against tax evasion. The robust gearing up of the information technology platform also led to the detection of tax evasion or manipulation. The activation of enforcement and vigilance has also paid off in the form of more GST/non-GST collection.
According to sources, tax dodgers had the practice of managing things when their tax evasion got caught. They could do it with the blessings of the higher-ups in the administration or political interference. However, for the past two years, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma made the officers clear in no uncertain terms that there would be no leniency towards tax evaders, nor would there be any political interference. Moreover, the Chief Minister himself regularly monitors revenue collection and places quarries as and when he notices a poor flow of revenue.
In her 2023–24 budget speech, Finance Minister Ajanta Neog said, “Our government implemented a number of reform initiatives in the finance sector for ensuring transparency and accountability, which has played a key role in the significant growth of revenue collection.”