Union revenue secretary Tarun Bajaj on Wednesday nudged the indirect tax officers to try and garner about Rs 1.5 trillion in goods and services taxes (GST) a month from October onwards by ensuring better compliance and plugging leakages.
“For the last couple of months we have been trying very hard to reach that milestone of Rs 1.5 trillion, but we have been falling short sometimes by Rs 2,000 crore and sometimes by Rs 6,000 crore,” Bajaj said addressing tax officers at an event in Mumbai to inaugurate a housing project for GST personnel.
“I’m sure from that from October (data for which to be released on November 1) onwards the Central Board of Indirect Taxes officers regularly shall deliver Rs 1.5 trillion/month.”
Monthly gross GST collections came in at Rs 1.44 trillion in August (July transactions), the sixth month in a row to show tax collections over Rs 1.4 trillion, reflecting improved compliance. GST collections reached a record Rs 1.68 trillion in April (March transactions). Higher GST collections could ease pressure on the Centre’s finances as well as that of states given revenue constraints after the pandemic.
Better compliance coupled with economic recovery has been having a positive impact on the GST revenues consistently. Given that e-way bills generated by businesses for the movement of goods in August touched an all-time high of 78.21 million, suggesting an acceleration of shipments as the festival season commenced, the GST collections will further increase from September itself.
Speaking at the event in Mumbai, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said better utilisation of artificial intelligence tools and data deep dives can help officials plug revenue leakages.
“Sooner, we will be putting through in different parts of the country… a training programme so that each one of you will feel comfortable using technology to assist you to make sure that leakages are plugged,” Sitharaman said.
Existing technology vendors may be tasked with the training programme for tax officers.
According to FE analysis, the Centre’s total net tax revenue (after devolution to states) may exceed the FY23 budget by about Rs 1.3 trillion due to buoyancy in GST and direct taxes.