New Delhi: The gross Goods and Services Tax (GST) collection in August 2019 rose 4.51% year-on-year to 98,202 crore but remained below 1 trillion mark, which was collected in July this year, Finance Ministry said on Sunday.

GST receipts, which had touched 1.13 trillion in April this year, could not sustain that growth subsequently. Experts said the subdued trend in GST receipts coincides with the economic downturn. Economic growth rate had slowed down to a six-year low of 5% in the June quarter, official data showed last week.

"This slight dip in revenue below 1 lakh crore may be linked to the general slowdown in industry. However, a growth vis-a-vis the same month in the last year does reflect better GST compliance," said Abhishek Jain, Tax Partner, EY.

Pratik Jain, partner and leader of indirect tax at PwC India said that with virtually no room for a tax rate increase, the government would hope that efforts to plug tax leakages would yield results soon. “Given the slowdown in collections, it would be interesting to see if GST Council would consider rate cuts in its meeting, later this month, for automobile sector as the industry has been pushing for," said Jain.

Finance Ministry said that 27,955 crore has been released to states as GST compensation for the months of June and July, 2019. About 7.6 million GST returns were filed in August.

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