GST aids revenue growth

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The implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which the State government has identified as one of “transformational changes,” has resulted in perceptible growth in revenue for the State government.

Giving figures of the growth rate during pre-GST and post-GST periods, K. Shanmugam, Additional Chief Secretary (Finance), told reporters that from April-June 2017 (pertaining to the pre-GST period), the rate of growth in revenue was 6.96% whereas it went up to 7.04% since July.

Similarly, while the figure for growth during July 2016-February 2017 was 10.72%, it was 15.45% in the eight months since July 2017 when the GST was launched. Giving allowance of one percentage point for normal growth, the remaining three to four percentage points could be attributed to the GST which was “beneficial for the State,” Mr. Shanmugam said.

Earlier, Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam informed the House that the State received ₹632 crore as GST compensation from the Centre.

Answering a question on the projection for revenue receipts, the official asserted that the government had made only a “conservative estimate.” An overall growth rate of 14% – 15% had been taken into account, despite a “good increase” in tax revenue through petroleum products and stamps and registration.

He also emphasised that in the coming year, the projected figure of revenue deficit would be adhered to. Last year, there was a “spike” in the deficit due to the pay hike for the government staff. Next year, the rise in salary bill would be around 8% to 9%, which could be easily absorbed, considering the rise in the overall growth rate of revenue receipts.

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