With average monthly gross Goods and Service Tax (GST) collections for the first quarter of FY23 at Rs 1.51 trillion, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said monthly GST revenues will remain over Rs 1.4 trillion, reflecting its true revenue potential in a matter of five years.
“May-June are not brilliant months for tax collections, we still managed to get great collections. Within the five years, GST is showing what it is. The trend that was being talked about (not yielding expected revenues), we are now reversing that and showing that GST revenues remain above Rs 1.4 trillion, which seems to be rough bottom line. We are not going below that,” Sitharaman said while addressing an event commemorating five years of the GST.
The monthly gross GST collections stood at Rs 1.68 trillion in April (highest ever), Rs 1.41 trillion in May and Rs 1.45 trillion in June. Average monthly collections stood at Rs 0.9 trillion in FY18, Rs 1.02 trillion in FY20 and Rs 1.23 trillion in FY22. Officials reckon that monthly GST collections could range from Rs 1.4 trillion to Rs 1.5 trillion in FY23 as against budget estimate of Rs 1.2 trillion.
“While we were worried about collections drop during the pandemic, today we remember what we can show in a matter of five years. Of the five years, two years were pandemic with lockdowns at national level and state level, and then containment zones,” she said, appreciating the efforts of tax field formations and measures taken to address technological challenges.
She said the GST has removed discretion to a large extent. “Therefore, there is no rent seeking. We should even better perform in terms of removing even one little iota of discretion if it prevails anywhere,” she added.