The Goods and Services Tax collection fell below the Rs 1-lakh-crore-mark to Rs 97,247 crore in February, which has raised concerns about the government meeting its revised fiscal deficit target of 3.4 per cent of GDP for the current fiscal.
“The total gross GST revenue collected in February 2019 is Rs 97,247 crore, of which central GST is Rs 17,626 crore, state GST (SGST) is Rs 24,192 crore, integrated GST (IGST) is Rs 46,953 crore and cess is Rs 8,476 crore,” the finance ministry said. The GST collection had touched Rs 1.02 lakh crore in the previous month.
“The marginal drop in the February GST collections compared with January could be on account of the full-month effects of the earlier rate reductions. Since the collections for the year are significantly behind target, the government would now hope that the expansion of the tax base, which has been facilitated by having reasonable rates, would improve collections in the next fiscal,” said M.S.Mani, partner at Deloitte India.
Abhishek Jain, tax partner, EY, said: “While GST collections are in line with the average collection in this financial year, it has witnessed a slight dip vis-a-vis the previous month, which could possibly be due to the impact of rate rationalisation from January.”
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) collections in the current fiscal till February totalled Rs 10.70 lakh crore.
The government has lowered the GST collection target for the current fiscal to Rs 11.47 lakh crore in the revised estimates from Rs 13.71 lakh crore budgeted initially. For 2019-20, the target is Rs 13.71 lakh crore. The number of sales returns or GSTR-3B filed for the month of January up to February 28, 2019 is 73.48 lakh.
The fiscal deficit, or the gap between the government’s expenditure and revenue, during the April-January period touched Rs 7.7 lakh crore or 121.5 per cent of the original budgeted target for the current financial year.
Officials said the government was trying to contain the runaway budget deficit by speeding up divestment and trying to mop up tax collections.