Ahead of the end of the current fiscal year, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has asked field offices to closely monitor tax collections.
CBIC chairman Vivek Johri in a recent newsletter urged field offices to ensure maximisation of revenue collection through “every possible legitimate means”. He highlighted areas of focus including expeditious clearances in customs, recovery of arrears from “ripe cases”, disposal of seized and confiscated cargo and ensuring that all taxpayers that are required to file returns actually do so. “I would urge zonal chiefs to keep a close watch on revenue and to ensure that there are no slippages,” he said.
The government has pegged the indirect tax target at Rs 13.85 trillion in the revised estimates for 2022-23, which is 4.1% higher than the budget estimate of Rs 13.3 trillion. While customs and excise duty collections were pared down in the revised estimates, the mop up from the goods and services tax was increased to Rs 8.54 trillion from the BE of Rs 7.8 trillion.
Officials have indicated that while GST collections have been robust and will meet, if not exceed the revised estimates, there could be some shortfall in the customs duty mop-up due to the global slowdown. In the revised estimates, customs duty collections have been lowered to Rs 2.1 trillion in the current fiscal from Rs 2.13 trillion, which was projected initially in the Union Budget.
“There are some concerns on the customs duty revenue, which continues to remain lower than anticipated. However, for GST, Rs 1.5 trillion is the new monthly average,” said an official. GST collections amounted to Rs 1.5 trillion in February, marking the 12th straight month that the monthly revenue from the levy was over Rs 1.4 trillion.
Experts said there is likely to be some slippage in both the indirect and direct tax collections. “The revised estimates have lowered revenue expectations significantly with respect to union excise duties and customs duties and they are likely to meet the target for the fiscal. However, there could be some shortfall in GST collections,” said DK Srivastava, chief policy advisor, EY India, adding that there will also be some slippage in personal income tax collections.