The Karnataka government recorded slowest growth in revenue receipts in 11 years as it grew by 5.8 per cent to Rs 1,74,511 crore in financial year 2019-20. This de-acceleration comes after double-digit growth in the past decade, averaging around 14.4 per cent. As per the provisional figures released by the Controller General of Accounts, up to March 2020, the state's revenue collections stood at nearly 96 per cent of the budget estimates, which were pegged at Rs 1,81,863 for FY20. The government mopped up almost 99 per cent of budgeted revenues in the previous fiscal.
The state's revenue receipts accounted for 11.2 per cent of its gross domestic product in 2017/18.
Delve deeper into monthly receipts and there lies the rub. Over the past two years, revenue receipts gathered pace in the first two months of the fiscal and progressed smoothly either at a slower pace or at times at a better pace, jumping exponentially in March, the concluding month of the fiscal. It shot approximately 48 per cent between February and March 2018 and nearly 77 per cent in the next closing period. However, around this time, it actually fell by 1.3 per cent from Rs 15,677 crore in February to Rs 15,481 crore in March 2020. The first week of the nationwide lockdown coincided with the closing and business-heavy days of the fiscal year. If it has taken a toll on the finances or not would only be affirmed once numbers of more states are released.
Karnataka's tax revenues fell short of Rs 8,943 crore from the budgeted target of Rs 1,41,551 crore in 2019/20. Around 99.9 per cent of the targeted amount was collected by the state government in 2018/19. Nevertheless, the non-tax revenue receipts as percentage of budget estimates fared better than previous fiscal as it stood at 91.8 per cent compared to 81.4 per cent in 2018/19.