GST revenues in August were ₹93,690 crore. Photo: Mint
GST revenues in August were ₹93,690 crore. Photo: Mint

GST collection rises in September, but still short of ₹1 trillion target

The shortfall in GST collections will increase the government's dependence on direct tax collections to meet its fiscal deficit target in 2018-19

New Delhi: Revenue collections from the goods and services tax (GST) rose to 94,442 crore in September but is still short of the 1 trillion monthly target set by the government.

GST revenues in August were 93,690 crore.

The shortfall in collections will increase the government’s dependence on direct tax collections to meet its fiscal deficit target for 2018-19.

A slew of tax rate cuts along with lack of measures to check tax evasion, including invoice matching, have contributed to GST revenues missing the monthly collection targets. The slow pick-up in revenue collections under GST has been a cause of concern for the government, with central tax officials touring states to discover the underlying reasons.

In the first six months of 2018-19, monthly GST collections averaged 96,283 crore, a monthly shortfall of around 3,700 crore so far.

The government hopes that the festive season demand will boost consumption and help in higher revenue collection in the second half of the fiscal. However, this is unlikely to bridge the shortfall of the first half of the fiscal.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley hinted last week that the government might miss the budgeted GST collection targets but had expressed confidence of meeting the fiscal deficit of 3.3% of gross domestic product.

The government has put in a spate of anti-tax evasion measures such as the e-way bill and tax collection at source to check leakages in GST. A few more, like invoice matching, are on the anvil.

Pratik Jain, partner and leader, indirect tax at PwC India said the monthly collections are now largely within a small range. “Since 30 September is the last date for claiming credit for the financial year ending March 18, the quantum of credit might be much larger than previous months. Hence, the collection in October could be impacted," he said.

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