The government has collected Rs 92,283 crore from the goods and services tax (GST) and attendant cesses up to 10 am on Tuesday, from 64% of the July taxpayer base, finance minister Arun Jaitley said. This is against the estimated revenue-neutral collection of Rs 91,000 crore (Rs 48,000 crore for the Centre and Rs 43,000 crore for states) for the month, the minister said, expressing satisfaction the that “red line has been crossed” in the very first month after the new tax was rolled out. Analysts said the GST collection trend is encouraging.
The aggregate collection figure released by the government now pertains to the taxes paid by just 38.38 lakh businesses registered on the GST Network portal, while the total registrants so far number 91.16 lakh, including 72.33 lakh firms that migrated from the previous regime and 18.83 lakh new taxpayers. The minister noted that of the GSTN taxpayer base, only 59.57 lakh firms are eligible for paying July taxes as the remaining have either got registered after that month or have opted for the composition scheme.
Extrapolating the latest collection figure for all the taxpayers eligible for paying July taxes, the actual collections for the month could touch Rs 1.43 lakh crore, much higher than the revenue-neutral threshold. Of course, the last dates for paying the taxes have passed — August 25 for those not seeking transitional input tax credit and August 28 for others — but the government is expecting other eligible taxpayers to pay up over the next few days with the benign penalties. “We expect a spillover in terms of compliance,” Jaitley said. The break-up of the July GST revenue so far is as follows: Central GST: Rs 14,894 crore; state GST: Rs 22,722 crore; integrated GST: Rs 47,469 crore (including IGST on imports of Rs 20,964 crore); and compensation cesses: Rs 7,198 crore.
Stating that the collections so far have been comfortable, Jaitley said it remained to be seen if any individual state faced a revenue shortfall. Under the GST (Compensation to States) Act, 2017, states are required to be fully compensated for any revenue shortfall in the GST regime in the first five years of GST. The revenue loss will be estimated with 2015-16 base of GST-equivalent taxes and annual growth of 14%; that is, any shortfall in revenue from the estimated levels will be liable for compensation.
Pratik Jain, partner and leader, indirect tax, PwC, said: “On the face of it, collection of over Rs 92,000 crore in the first month looks quite encouraging, given the fact that GST is still stabilising. It is also to be noted that only 64% of registered dealers have actually done the compliances and therefore the actual collection could go up in next few days.” The Centre has computed the revenue-neutral GST figures for the Centre and states after deducting the petroleum taxes, which are substantial and which are outside the GST purview, and also the proceeds of the Centre’s basic customs duty that are not subsumed in GST.