New Delhi: Taxes paid by Indian companies more than doubled in the three months through September, suggesting growth in Asia’s third biggest economy may be strengthening.

Recovery track: Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee. Indian firms paid Rs44,010 crore as advance tax during the September quarter. Namas Bhojani / Bloomberg

Advance taxes paid by local companies rose to Rs44,010 crore in the July-September quarter from Rs20,720 crore in the previous three months and 14.7% more than the same quarter last year, said a finance ministry official who declined to be identified. Companies make advance payments once every three months, based on their estimates of income for the quarter.

Reliance Industries Ltd, the country’s most valuable company, paid Rs1,160 crore in advance taxes in the quarter to 30 September, 69% more than the April-June period, the finance ministry official told reporters in New Delhi on Tuesday. State Bank of India paid Rs1,830 crore, Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd provided Rs1,796 crore and Indian Oil Corp. Ltd paid Rs1,100 crore, he said.

Record-low interest rates and tax cuts are providing stimulus which policymakers estimate are worth at least 12% of the country’s gross domestic product, or GDP. Economic growth may average around 8.6% over the next 10-15 years, UBS AG economist Philip Wyatt said on Tuesday.

“The tax numbers indicate that the worst is behind us and all the leading indicators, including industrial production, suggest that non-farm GDP will gain further ground," said Sonal Varma, an economist at Nomura Securities Co. Ltd in Mumbai.

Increased spending on consumer goods and automobiles has driven tax payments higher, the official said. Advance tax payments had declined 3.7% in the April-June period, he said.

Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee had said on 19 September Indian policymakers need to keep borrowing costs at a record low to aid a nascent economic recovery. “At this point in time, I cannot accept dear money policy or credit curbs as it will have an adverse impact on growth."

The Reserve Bank of India said the economy will grow 6% in the fiscal year to March, slower than the average 8.7% in the previous four years.