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Rs 1 Lakh Bn In Cess, Surcharge May Go Unutilised In FY23

Surcharges and cesses are collected for particular purposes and the proceeds are transferred to reserve funds established for those purposes

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Even though the Centre's Cess and Surcharge collections have increased significantly in recent years, a large portion of the funds collected stays unutilised. The finance ministry's data presented in parliament indicates that the Rs 99,000 crore collected through Cess and surcharges will go unutilised in the current fiscal year.

This is significantly more than the Rs 58,000 rupees that went unused in 2021-22. The unutilised sum could reach Rs 1.3 lakh crore in the next fiscal year. The finance ministry informed parliament that income from Cess and Surcharge (excluding GST compensation cess) would increase to Rs 4.2 lakh crore in 2023-24, up from Rs 2.1 lakh crore in 2018-19, representing a 14.5 per cent annual growth rate over the previous five years.

The government expects to receive Rs 3.98 lakh crore in cess and surcharges but spend Rs 2.99 lakh crore in the current fiscal year.

According to the government's budget estimate for the coming fiscal year, it will expend only Rs 2.87 lakh crore while collecting Rs 4.2 lakh crore in 2023-24. Primary and higher education received Rs 62,000 crore of the Rs 3.98 lakh crore spent in 2022-23, but road and infrastructure building received a sizable chunk (Rs 2.08 lakh crore).

Surcharges and cesses are collected for particular purposes, and the proceeds are transferred to reserve funds established for those purposes. However, it has frequently been discovered that not all of the money collected through such levies is transferred to reserve funds but is instead kept in the general fund.

The Consolidated Fund of India needs to be more utilised. Because surcharges and cesses are not included in the Centre's tax pool that is shared with the states, many state governments have expressed concern about the increasing share of such levies in the Centre's gross tax collection. Surcharges and cesses have increased their share of the Centre's gross income from 8.6 per cent in 2010-11 to 13 per cent (excluding GST compensation Cess) in 2022-23.

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cess surcharge