MUMBAI: Maharashtra faces a staggering debt of Rs 7 lakh crore in 2023-24. However, it has a massive chunk of revenue which remains unrecovered and could potentially reduce debt. The state has Rs 1.5 lakh crore of unrealised tax revenue, according to the latest budget documents.
The amount of unrealised tax revenue is 73% higher than it was in 2019-20. The dues that year were Rs 89,661 crore.
The Rs 1.5 lakh crore worth of unrealised taxes were outstanding as of March 2020-21. Of this sum, as much as Rs 87,241 crore is under dispute. The amount which is not under dispute totals Rs 67,831 crore.
However, officials say that the recovery of these unrealised taxes is not easy. “The bulk of unrealised taxes relate to old VAT cases which are pending before the department’s appellate authorities, tribunals or the high court,” said a senior official.
Indeed, of the Rs 1.5 lakh crore in unrealised taxes, the largest chunk relates to state and central sales tax which together account for Rs 1.4 lakh crore. Within this, the dues from sales tax and VAT on motor spirits and lubricants amount to Rs 1 lakh crore and dues from central sales tax are Rs 35,309 crore.
Officials point out that of 1.4 lakh sales tax demands, sums amounting to roughly Rs 80,000 crore are under dispute before the department’s appellate authority, tribunals or the high court and Supreme Court.
This leaves dues worth roughly Rs 60,000 crore which are not under dispute. Of these, cases with dues worth roughly Rs 20,000 crore are before the liquidator or debt recovery tribunal with the companies being dissolved in some cases.
In cases relating to dues worth around Rs 10,000 crore, the company was no longer traceable. In cases with sums relating to around 5,000 crore, the money was not yet due. And cases with dues worth Rs 25,000 crore were in various stages of recovery.
Officials say that the process of recovery is long-drawn. Indeed, cases under dispute which have been pending for 10 years and above amount to Rs 10,856 crore. The state has introduced amnesty schemes in 2022 and in this budget to help recover unrealised taxes.