March GST collections hit ₹1.78L crore, 2nd-highest ever | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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March GST collections hit 1.78L crore, 2nd-highest ever

ByRajeev Jayaswal
Apr 02, 2024 06:50 AM IST

GST collection for FY 2023-24 exceeded ₹20 lakh crore, with March collection at ₹1.78 lakh crore. Robust growth reflects economic resurgence and compliance improvements.

New Delhi Collection of goods and services tax in the year ended March 31 surpassed 20 lakh crore, with revenues in the last month of 2023-24 crossing 1.78 lakh crore, the second highest collection ever, on heightened economic activity and ease of compliance driven by technology.

The gross collection in March saw 11.5% year-on-year growth.
The gross collection in March saw 11.5% year-on-year growth.

“FY 2023-24 marks a milestone with total gross GST collection of 20.18 lakh crore exceeding 20 lakh crore, a 11.7% increase compared to the previous year,” the finance ministry said in a statement on Monday.

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With 1,78,484 crore gross collection in March, which reflected business transactions of February, the average monthly collection in the just-concluded financial year was 1.68 lakh crore, breaching the preceding financial year’s average of 1.5 lakh crore, official data showed.

The gross collection in March saw 11.5% year-on-year growth. GST revenue net of refunds for March was 1.65 lakh crore, posting 18.4% jump. “GST revenue net of refunds as of March 2024 for the current fiscal year is 18.01 lakh crore which is a growth of 13.4% over same period last year,” the ministry’s statement said.

The robust collection in indirect taxes demonstrates India’s economic resurgence across sectors, said MS Mani, partner at Deloitte India, a consultancy. “It was possible due to the various measures taken by the GST authorities to improve compliance and stamp out evasion,” Mani said. “The big focus on comparison of taxpayer behaviour across tax and corporate databases has also made business convinced on the need to be compliant not only on their activities, but also keep track of their vendors’ tax behaviour.”

Since GST is a transaction-based tax, it is also a weathervane of the country’s economic health. “A 17.6% growth in collection in March from domestic transactions indicates strong domestic economic growth,” said Abhishek Jain, indirect tax head and partner at KPMG, another consultancy.

The Indian economy is expected to expand in excess of 8% in 2023-24, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Saturday at the Mint India Investment Summit in Mumbai. Mint is published by HT Media Ltd, which also publishes HT.

The economy grew by 8.4% in the December quarter, driven by investment, increased manufacturing and services activities according to data released by the National Statistical Office on February 29. The economy is projected to expand by 7.6% in 2023-24, faster than the 7.3% forecast on January 5.

GST compensation cess in March was 12,259 crore. The cess for the entirety of 2023-24 was 1,44,554 crore, which included the levy on imported goods. HT on March 29 reported about a robust collection of GST cess in 2023-24 at around 1.45 lakh crore, which would increase the probability that it could be rolled back sooner than the March 31, 2026, deadline set initially.

The government extended the GST cess, which is levied on luxury items and so-called sin goods such as automobiles, liquor, cigarettes, aerated water and coal, up to March 31, 2026, to retire the 2.69 lakh crore debt taken to compensate states for their revenue shortfall during the pandemic years. “Cess will cease to exist even before the deadline if the principal and interest amounts are paid early,” an official said, requesting anonymity.

Out of total collections in 2023-24, the central GST (CGST) component was 3,75,710 crore, the state GST (SGST) was 4,71,195 crore and the integrated GST was 10,26,790 crore. “For the FY 2023-24, the central government settled 4,87,039 crore to CGST and 4,12,028 crore to SGST from the IGST collected,” the finance ministry’s statement said.

IGST is levied on interstate transfer of goods and services and is shared between the Centre and the state. All imports are treated as interstate supplies and IGST is levied on them in addition to the applicable custom duties.

“Consistent positive performance fosters confidence in our fiscal policies, which demonstrably drive sustainable growth,” said Saurabh Agarwal, tax partner at consultancy firm EY. “Looking ahead, the prospects for heightened GST collections in the forthcoming quarter remain promising, particularly in light of the upcoming general elections.”

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