March GST collections hit a record Rs 1.06 lakh crore
Goods and Services Tax (GST) collection in March rose 15.6% from a year ago to hit Rs 1.06 lakh crore, the highest since the new indirect tax system took effect on July 1, 2017.
“Total gross GST revenue collected in March, 2019 is Rs 1,06,577 crore, of which CGST (Central GST) is Rs 20,353 crore, SGST (State GST) is Rs 27,520 crore, IGST (Integrated GST) is Rs 50,418 crore (including Rs 23,521 crore collected on imports) and cess is Rs 8,286 crore (including Rs 891 crore collected on imports),” the finance ministry said in a statement.
Average monthly GST revenue during August-March of 2017-18 was Rs 89,885 crore, which rose to Rs 98,114 crore during AprilMarch of 2018-19.
The finance ministry said revenue growth has picked up in the last few months, despite various rate cuts by the GST Council. GST mop-up for the whole of 2018-19 stands at Rs 11.77 lakh crore.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley tweeted that the March figures indicate an expansion in manufacturing and consumption.
As many as 75.95 lakh GSTR3Bs (summary returns) were filed till March 31 for February, against 73.48 lakh a month ago.
“The steep increase in GST collections is quite a welcome outcome for the economy. Some major reasons for the growth could be reconciliations by businesses of outward and inward supplies, intelligent data analytics, related tax leakage detections and consequent GST payment by businesses,” Abhishek Jain, tax partner, EY India, said.
According to Devendra Kumar Pant, chief economist at India Ratings, higher GST collection will reduce pressure on the centre emanating from compensation paid to the states for any revenue loss.
“Any surplus in the compensation cess account would be a bonus both for central and state governments,” he said.
Monthly GST collection has largely remained below the average expected Rs 1 lakh crore, barring April, October, January and March, mainly due to several rate cuts as well as procedural hurdles.
In the interim budget, the government slashed CGST revenue target by Rs 1 lakh crore to Rs 6.43 lakh crore, excluding states’ share of revenue. The government is looking to collect Rs 7.61 lakh crore in 2019-20, including CGST, IGST and compensation cess.
“It is worth noting that projected growth in GST collections for 2019-20 is around 20% over 2018-19. Achieving this steep target would call for substantial increase in tax base by plugging the existing leakages, as room for increase in tax rate seems limited,” said Pratik Jain, partner and leader indirect tax, PwC India.
For fiscal 2019-20, the GST collection target has been budgeted at Rs 13.71 lakh crore.