GST collection falls even as govt raises monthly target; doubts over ambitious March goal

GST collections in February stood at Rs 1.05 lakh crore, which is Rs 10,000 crore shorter than the revised target.

gst collecton, gst in february, indirect tax collection, goods and services tax

Even as the government raised the target for monthly GST collections twice in two months, the collections are still significantly below the revised target. GST collections in February stood at Rs 1.05 lakh crore, which is Rs 10,000 crore shorter than the revised target. To compensate for low collections in previous months of the current fiscal, the government set an ambitious monthly GST target of Rs 1.1 lakh crore for December-March and asked taxmen to step up efforts to achieve the goal. However, after a lower-than-target collection of Rs 1.03 lakh crore in the month of December, the government again revised the target to Rs 1.15 lakh crore for February and Rs 1.25 lakh crore for March.

Out of the total indirect tax collections of Rs 11.2 lakh crore estimated in FY20, the government has estimated to raise Rs 6.63 lakh crore from GST. Out of the total tax collections under GST, 79% is expected to come from central GST, 4% from the integrated GST, and 16% from the GST compensation cess, according to the Budget documents.

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The ongoing economic slowdown has prolonged in the country and the economic growth has been modest even since the beginning of the current financial year. However, to provide some cushion, the government took certain steps to take care of the revenue collections.

“The steps taken by the government to achieve the target set for this financial year are GST rate rationalisation to improve tax compliance, mandatory e-filing and e-payment of taxes, penalty for delayed payment, extensive use of third-party sources such as State VAT Department, Income Tax etc. for compliance verification, regular enforcement & compliance verification of tax returns, taxpayer education and media campaign etc”, Anurag Thakur, MoS, Ministry of Finance said in a reply to a question in Lok Sabha.

Meanwhile, in nine out of eleven months so far in this fiscal, the GST collections were more than the corresponding months of the previous year. Also, in eight out of eleven months, the monthly GST collections stood above Rs 1 lakh crore.

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First published on: 02-03-2020 at 11:53 IST