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Thursday, Dec 05, 2002

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Direct tax receipts slow down in April-Nov period

Our Bureau


THE forewarning in the mid-year review of the economy that revenue collections could see some pressure in the second-half of the current fiscal is becoming more than evident.

With refunds crossing the Rs 15,000-crore mark, the growth in the Centre's direct tax collections (income-tax and corporate tax) has slowed down to 14.5 per cent during April-November this year as against 21.5 per cent in the first-half.

The slowdown in direct tax receipts during the April-November period is set to impact the budgeted fiscal deficit target of 5.3 per cent of the GDP unless it is offset by a surge in realisation in the third and fourth instalments of advance tax due by December 15 and March 15 which seems unlikely.

An indication of a possible slippage in fiscal deficit was given by the Finance Secretary, Dr S. Narayan, on Tuesday.

According to official estimates, net direct tax collections stood at Rs 35,960 crore during April-November as compared to Rs 31,404 crore in the same period last year, marking an increase of 14.5 per cent. This is just a percentage point higher than the growth registered during April to October this year. To achieve the Budget target of Rs 91,140 crore, actual revenues would have to grow by 32 per cent over last year.

The break-up shows that corporate tax collections grew by 19 per cent to touch Rs 16,756 crore (Rs 14,062 crore). Income-tax collections, on the other hand, posted a 10.7 per cent growth and stood at Rs 19,204 crore (Rs 17,342 crore).

Total refunds stood at Rs 15,141 crore (Rs 12,158 crore), marking an increase of 24 per cent. A month-wise break-up shows a 24.6 per cent growth in direct tax revenues which stood at Rs 3,497 crore in November, as against Rs 2,807 crore in November last year. Corporate tax collections were higher at Rs 1,195 crore (Rs 666 crore), marking a 79.5 per cent increase.

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