The revenue of governments across the country have seen adverse impacts owing to the nationwide lockdowns. This raised a need for technology-based solutions to optimise revenue generation and management. Presenting an effective solution from SAS, B Radha Krishna, CFCS Director, Fraud and Security Intelligence, SAS, addressed the Revenue Management and Intelligence Summit 2021 on April 26.
B Radha Krishna set the tone of discussions before opening the forum to the panellists. While addressing the theme he said, “The nature and magnitude of the challenges to increase compliance and revenue may vary in various departments like GST, Excise, Transport, etc. A few reasons for which they vary are – the level of automation or digitisation in the department; dependency on data from other departments; quality of available data; level of staffing; and capability of the department to exploit data to generate insights using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.”
The COVID pandemic has adversely impacted revenue generation. This calls for the deployment of technology to bring in efficiency and effectiveness in revenue generation. He highlighted, “If we look at the present scenario, the governments are heavily investing in providing life-saving healthcare. The governments are deploying resources in healthcare centres, hospitals, medical facilities, medical research, patient’s care and wherever required. However, it is also seen that owing to the nationwide lockdowns there has been volatility in revenue.”
Speaking on the statistics of revenue, he mentioned that for the first time the GST collections crossed Rs 1 lakh crore consecutively for six months. This indicates that there is some economic recovery considering the pandemic situation and economic situation at the beginning of this fiscal year. A few probable reasons for the improvement can be attributed to monitoring against fake billing by the GST council, using deep data analytics for data from multiple sources – GST, Income Tax and Customs.
As per analysts, the government is spending heavily to shield individuals from the economic consequences of the pandemic and lockdown. “What is needed to support these spendings is of course the revenue which has also seen the adverse impact of the lockdowns. And, the government is under pressure with respect to the financial management.”
“Sharing SAS’ experience of working with various revenue-generating departments in different states in India, Krishna shared key issues faced by various revenue-generating departments. He said, “In the domain of tax and excise we see disaggregated revenue system, commodity misclassification, greater understanding of taxpayers is required and not much analytics have been used at this time. In the stamps and registration departments, there is an issue of undervaluation of properties and miscalculation of properties. There are issues around market calibration and registration documents. Considering property tax, there are issues around erroneous assessments, the increasing number of transactions that need to be looked at. With regard to mining, there are issues of grading and royalty rate assessment of minerals extracted. And, in the transport department, road safety issues, revenue leakages, issues with monitoring of performance and compliance of regulations, the establishment of environment-friendly transport, etc… SAS provides technology tools as solutions to challenges faced by the governments in revenue generation and management. Almost 50 to 60 percent of the efforts are involved in – ingestion, cleansing, enrichment, quality analysis, entity resolution, and social networks generation. This whole procedure helps in the formation of the Intelligence Repository. This data in the repository is used to apply multiple techniques to generate exceptions to better understand the entities like excise, property, mines, tax, etc. These exceptions are then investigated for frauds, risks, etc. This information flows back to the repository to add intelligence on a continuous learning basis.
Most of the monitoring is done at the event level wherein returns, sales and purchase invoices, e-way bills, etc. are monitored. The second level of monitoring is the entity level wherein dealers, IP addresses, etc. are monitored and in the third level group of entities based on transactions and demographic linkages are monitored. This is SAS Hybrid Approach for Revenue Intelligence, he added. Further, he deliberated on how SAS solutions monitor the abovementioned aspects.
Calling SAS solutions a low risk and high-value pick, he said, “SAS is a low risk and high-value pick because we essentially look at the problems from data to intelligence. We look at the quality of data. We integrate the data and create a repository and ensure that it is usable. This is so that all the techniques that we deploy becomes essentially valuable. We have immense experience working with the data in India and this enables us to generate value for our customers.”
Concluding his address, B Radha Krishna said, “Data management, data integration, creation of repositories, can play a crucial role in enhancing the revenue management. We recommend hybrid analytics for detection and prevention and identify factors related to non-compliance behaviour, bogus companies, frauds, etc.”