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Finally, some good news: November GST collections up 6%

GST collections were Rs 97,637 crore in November last year and Rs 95,380 crore in October this year. The increase in collections was a sign of economic revival, recovery in demand and measures to ease compliance, government officials told ET. Afte...

ET Bureau|
Updated: Dec 02, 2019, 10.39 AM IST
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The November 2019 collection is the third highest monthly collection since introduction of GST, next only to April 2019 and March 2019 collections.
India’s goods and services tax collections rose 6% to Rs 1.03 lakh crore in November, reversing two months of decline, with experts attributing the increase to festive shopping and better compliance.

GST collections were Rs 97,637 crore in November last year and Rs 95,380 crore in October this year. The increase in collections was a sign of economic revival, recovery in demand and measures to ease compliance, government officials told ET.

“After two months of negative growth, GST revenues witnessed an impressive recovery… During the month, the GST collection on domestic transactions witnessed a growth of 12%, highest during the year,” the government said in a statement.

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Tax revenue growth has been muted in the current financial year because of slowing growth. Net tax revenue climbed 3.4% in April-October from a year ago. Higher collections will provide some fiscal relief to the government. India’s economic growth slowed to a six-year low of 4.5% in July-September, while nominal GDP growth in the quarter hit a decade low of 6.1%, which would impact taxes.

GST collections had fallen 2.7% in September and 5.3% in October from the corresponding months in 2018. “While increase in collections is encouraging, it’s difficult to read too much into the collection for one month, particularly because October was also a month of festivals. We need to see what’s the trend,” said Pratik Jain, a partner at PwC. “The GDP numbers also say that personal consumption expenditure is slightly on the higher side, so from that perspective it was somewhat expected that GST collections would go higher,” said Indranil Pan, chief economist at IDFC First Bank.

“This (increase in collections) might be a festive occurrence – whether the intensity with this will go up, only time will say,” Collections may have got a lift from better compliance measures. “With implementation of anti-evasion measures like investigation on identified discrepancies through analytics and the recently implemented restrictions on availing of unmatched credits, there was a general expectation of collections witnessing an increase,” said Abhishek Jain, a tax partner at EY.

Collections in November comprised of Rs 19,592 crore of central GST, Rs 27,144 crore of state GST, Rs 49,028 crore integrated GST (including Rs 20,948 crore collected on imports) and cess of Rs 7,727 crore. The total number of GSTR 3B returns filed for October up to November 30 was 77.83 lakh.

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