AP: CAG alleges negligence on the part of Commercial Tax authorities
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has reported a loss of Rs 84.11 crore to the state exchequer in the 2018-19 financial year due to negligence on the part of Commercial Taxes Department officials.
There are a total of 117 Commerce Department offices in the state. The CAG examined the records of 37 of them for the year 2018–19. Out of a total of 448 cases, VAT of Rs 84.11 crore was underestimated due to improper enforcement of laws and non-compliance with regulations.
In 180 cases, the loss to the exchequer was Rs 65.29 crore due to non-imposition or under-imposition of VAT. The loss was Rs 6.68 crore due to non-imposition of fines and interest, Rs 5 crore due to excessive or incorrect claim of input tax credit and Rs 4 crore due to non-imposition of tax in 67 cases under the CST Act.
Payment of discounts contrary to regulations
The CAG report found that the state industrial policy paid industrial subsidies to some industries in contravention of 2015–20. According to the CAG, Rs 1.32 crore was illegally sanctioned to three ice factories in Nellore district between 2017 and March 2019.
Although it is an ice factory that makes ice for storage and preservation rather than used for eating, it claims to be subsidized under the food preparation incentive scheme. The CAG informed the government that the total subsidy of Rs 1.32 crore sanctioned was not legal and that Rs 76.39 lakh already paid should be recovered.
PSUs in debt burden
The CAG said the previous government had mobilized huge loans in the name of state-owned enterprises. He said that he had collected huge loans in the name of public sector undertakings in the name of paddy procurement, PDS rice procurement and infrastructure creation. While the debt of state PSUs was Rs 8,518.99 crore in 2016-17, it has increased significantly to Rs 30,530.91 crore by 2018-19.
The state civic body SBI has borrowed Rs 19,000 crore, while AP Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation has borrowed Rs 3,951.59 crore to build 5 lakh EWS housing lands and infrastructure across the state.