Public revenue occupies an important place in the study of public
finance. The Government has to perform several functions for the welfare of the
people. They involve substantial amount of public expenditure which can be
financed only through public revenue. The amount of public revenue to be raised
depends on the necessity of public expenditure and the people’s ability to pay.
The income of the government through all sources is called public
income or public revenue.
According to Dalton, the term “Public Income” has two senses —
wide and narrow. In its wider sense it includes all the incomes or receipts
which a public authority may secure during any period of time. In its narrow
sense, it includes only those sources of income of the public authority which
are ordinarily known as “revenue resources.” To avoid ambiguity, the former is
termed “public receipts” and the latter “public revenue.”
In a narrow sense, it includes only those sources of income of the
Government which are described as “revenue resources”. In broad sense, it
includes loans raised by the Government also.
Public revenue can be classified into two types.