GST revenue hits ₹1 Lakh-crore for 5th month
Goods and Services Tax (GST) collections in February topped ₹1 lakh crore-mark for a record fifth month in a row, with collections worth ₹1,13,143 crore, indicating a sustained economic recovery and improved tax administration.
The February collection is 7.3% higher than ₹1,05,361 crore collected in the same month last year, the last month before businesses took a hit on account of Covid-induced lockdown.
“The gross GST revenue collected in the month of February 2021 is ₹1,13,143 crore, of which CGST [Central GST] is ₹21,092 crore, SGST [State GST] is ₹27,273 crore, IGST [Integrated GST] is ₹55,253 crore, including ₹24,382 crore collected on import of goods, and cess is ₹9,525 crore, including ₹660 crore collected on import of goods,” the finance ministry said in a statement .
A finance ministry spokesperson said the positive revenue growth for six months in a row from September 2020, and tax collections in excess of ₹1 lakh crore collections for five consecutive months show the resilience of the economy, effective tax administration, and improved compliance. After remaining in contraction mode for six months in a row since March 2020, GST collections started growing from September.
The Indian economy contracted by 24.4% and 7.3% in the first and second quarters of 2020-21 before growing by 0.4% in the third quarter, the three months ended December 31, 2020.
Abhishek Jain, tax partner at consulting firm EY said: “It [GST collection] shows a sharp recovery from the lows during the peak of the pandemic and is also a result of the government tightening compliance and anti-evasion measures.”
Rajat Bose, partner at law firm Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co said GST collections are a strong indicator of sustained revival. “The measures taken by the government to ensure compliance also seem to be paying off. Hopefully, the worst is over and this should bring cheer to the government which desperately needs the fiscal resources to implement its policy commitments,” he added.