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Photo: Mint
Photo: Mint

India may miss tax collection target for 2019-20 by nearly Rs2.5 lakh cr: Garg

  • Subhash Chandra Garg from the tax revenues perspective, 2019-20 is proving to be a dysfunctional year
  • Former finance secretary says corporate tax, excise duties and customs are likely to see negative growth in collections in 2019-20

NEW DELHI : The government's tax collection is likely to fall short of its estimate by Rs2.5 lakh crore or 1.2% of GDP in 2019-20, former finance secretary Subhash Chandra Garg said on Sunday while calling for scrapping of dividend distribution tax.

Garg in a blog said that from the tax revenues perspective, 2019-20 is proving to be a dysfunctional year. "Tax revenues to see shortfall of Rs2.5 trillion (1.2% of GDP). Time to junk DDT and reform personal income tax," he said.

The government had budgeted gross tax revenues of Rs24.59 lakh crore. "Setting aside Rs8.09 lakh crore as the share of the states, the budgeted net tax revenues to the Centre was kept at Rs16.50 lakh crore. This was Rs3.13 lakh crore higher than the provisional/actual net tax revenues of Rs13.37 lakh crore collected in 2018-19, an increase of 23.4%. "Indeed, it was quite a steep target," Garg noted. He said corporate tax, excise duties and customs are likely to see negative growth in collections in 2019-20- something of the order of 8% in corporate taxes, about 5% negative growth in excise duties (Rs2.2 lakh crore against Rs2.31 lakh crore) and about 10% lower collection in customs duty (Rs1.06 lakh crore against Rs1.18 lakh crore). Garg pointed out that overall, there is likely to be shortfall of Rs3.5 - 3.75 lakh crore in gross tax collections of the Centre. Noting that this is quite a steep shortfall in collections, unlikely to be bridged by either higher accrual under the non-tax revenues or expenditure compression, he said, "Therefore, revision of fiscal deficit goal of 3.3% by 0.5% to 0.7% appears quite inevitable." The underlying tax revenue situation is grim, he said adding that it is the right time to initiate much needed reforms in the taxation structure.

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