Beating all expectations, collections from the Goods & Services Tax (GST) reached over ₹1.02 lakh crore in July. So far, in three out of four months during the current fiscal year, the collection has been more than ₹1 lakh crore.
According to a Finance Ministry statement, the July collection is nearly 6 per cent more than in the corresponding month last fiscal. During the April-July 2019 period, the domestic component has grown 9.2 per cent over the year-ago period while the GST on imports has come down by 0.2 per cent. The total collection for the period rose 6.83 per cent.
Out of the total collection, ₹17,789 crore has been released to the States as GST compensation for the first two months of the current fiscal year.
Out of the total collection, CGST is ₹17,912 crore, SGST is ₹25,008 crore, IGST is ₹50,612 crore (including ₹24,246 crore collected on imports) and Cess is ₹8,551 crore (including ₹797 crore collected on imports). The total number of GSTR 3B Returns filed for June up to July 31, 2019 is 75.79 lakh.
Auto sector in slow lane
Interestingly, collections grew despite industrial activity slowing down. For example, the automobile sector has been in the slow lane for almost a year, while the core sector (eight key industrial sectors such as steel, cement, electricity etc that make up more than 40 per cent of the index of industrial production) slowed down to a 50-month low in June. However, the government has not given sectoral details of the GST collection, making it difficult to ascertain what has driven the growth. Finance Ministry officials said that one of the reasons for the increase in collection could be anti-evasion measures.
They said concerted efforts have been made to improve tax compliance.
Extensive automation of business processes, application of the e-way bill mechanism, targeted action on compliance verification, enforcement based on risk assessment and the introduction of an electronic invoice system are among the steps aimed at increasing revenue collection.