The bumper Rs 1.16 lakh crore Goods and Services Tax (GST) revenue collection in the month of July 2021 has indicated that the economy has started to recover from the onslaught of a global pandemic, gifted to humanity by a country named China. According to the fresh data released by the Finance Ministry, the GST collection in the month of July saw an increase of 33% from the same month last year (July 2020), with Odisha being the biggest surprise.
“The gross GST revenue collected in the month of July 2021 is ₹1,16,393 crore of which CGST is ₹22,197 crore, SGST is ₹28,541 crore, IGST is ₹57,864 crore (including ₹27,900 crores collected on import of goods) and cess is ₹7,790 crore (including ₹815 crores collected on import of goods),” an official statement issued by the ministry said.
However, the biggest takeaway from the data was the comparative study of the GST collection numbers between two states, viz, West Bengal and Odisha. In the second month of Mamata Banerjee’s third tenure as the state Chief Minister, Bengal’s GST collection for July 2021 stood at Rs 3,463 crore, which is the lowest amongst the list of major states. In July 2020, the figures for the state hovered around Rs 3,010 crore.
FYI, Odisha's GST collection has exceeded that of West Bengal.
The horrible things that Communism & religious appeasement does to a state!!
WB's population is almost three times greater than that of Odisha.
— Amit Agrahari (@amit_agrahari94) August 3, 2021
However, in contrast, Odisha, despite being a smaller state in terms of population increased its GST collection by 54%, beating Bengal fair and square. According to the data released by the centre, Odisha achieved a GST collection of Rs 3,615 crore in July 2021, registering a growth of 54%, which puts a positive stamp on the administration of Odisha and the working style of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. The state has collected Rs 927 crore in CGST, Rs 1,028 crore in IGST and Rs 592 crore in cess in July which is an incredible achievement for a small state like Odisha.
It is pertinent to note that in July 2020, Odisha only managed to collect Rs 2,348 crore in GST. However, fast forward a year and Odisha is second only to Maharashtra in terms of increase in the GST collection.
Partly the reason for Bengal’s dismal GST collection finds its root in the history of communist rule, which abhorred any kind of industrialization and investment by the private sector. Such hysteria against the private enterprises has only been amplified by the 10-year rule of the Mamata government.
The effect of the state-sponsored anarchy and violence is such that companies fear setting up camp in the Eastern state of the country. And the small establishments that do have business in Bengal, are on the verge of collapse.
Bengal has merely been reduced to a place for the armchair journalists and economists sitting in their plush offices and homes in foreign lands to look back and marvel at the ‘Poverty porn’ prevalent across the nook and cranny of the dilapidated state.
At the time of independence, Bengal’s share in India’s industrial production stood at 30%. Today, it has come down to a mere 3.5%. Such weak industrial numbers had even forced a Socialist Mamata to drop her charade and beg the central government to allow vaccine manufacturers to set up base in the state.
GST collection for the country, after posting above Rs 1 lakh crore mark for eight months in a row, had momentarily dipped in June 2021. However, after the lockdowns were lifted in majority of the states, the collection has breached the 1 lakh crore barrier once again. With the economy opening and the rest of the Covid restrictions being lifted, the figures are expected to increase in the coming months as well. However, the same cannot be said about West Bengal.