Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has found out that the budget estimate prepared by the Meghalaya government was ‘not realistic”.

In its report for the revenue sector till March 31, 2020, the audit report also revealed that the state government has lost over Rs 1,160 crore in revenue owing to underassessments and other factors.

The CAG report was tabled by Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma on the last day of the autumn session on September 16.

“Test check of the records on sale, trade etc, state excise, motor vehicles tax, forest receipts and other non-tax receipts conducted during the year 2019-20 revealed underassessment/short/non-levy/loss in as many as 498 cases amounting to a revenue loss of 1,166.89 crore which is 48.19 per cent of the state’s own tax revenue for 2019-20,” the audit report revealed.

The department of taxation, mining and geology, forest and environment, state excise, and transport have accepted underassessment/short/non-levy/loss of revenue of Rs 376.97 crore in 293 cases pointed out by CAG in 2019-20 but the recovery was only Rs 12.81 crore.

The audit also noticed that the revenue earning departments had weak internal controls to detect underassessment, short payment, evasion of taxes, fees, royalties and other irregularities.

“There was no system in place to actively exchange information and coordinate amongst the departments for cross-verification of records to detect illegal transportation of minerals, evasion of royalties, excise duty, etc,” the report pointed out.

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