India’s finances might be in trouble as October GST collections drop by 5.3%

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In more fiscal worries for the government, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) collection dropped 5.29 percent to Rs 95,380 crore in the month of October 2019, on a year-on-year basis. Out of the total GST collection in this period, the central GST (CGST) comprised Rs 17,582 crore and state GST (SGST) was Rs 23,674 crore. The integrated GST (IGST) stood at Rs 46,517 crore (including Rs 21,446 crore collected on imports) while cess was Rs 7,607 crore (including Rs 774 crore collected on imports). The total number of GSTR 3B Returns filed for the month of September up to October 31 was Rs 73.83 lakh. “The government has settled Rs 20,642 crore to CGST and Rs 13,971 crore to SGST from IGST as regular settlement.

The total revenue earned by the central government and the state governments after regular settlement in the month of October 2019, is Rs 38,224 crore for CGST and Rs 37,645 crore for the SGST,” a Finance Ministry statement said. The monthly GST collection has fallen despite October being festive season and government announcing a slew of measures to boost the economy. “This looks like a difficult situation for the government. Many more steps would need to be taken to improve revenue collection. The government would have to ensure better compliance and increase in taxpayer base,” said Amit Bhagat, Partner, Dhruva Advisors.

The lower GST collection reflects weak consumer demand and overall economic slowdown. The GST collection had fallen 19-month low to Rs 91,916 crore in the month of September. “The revenue during October 2019 is declined by 5.29 percent in comparison to the revenue during October 2018. However, during April-October, 2019 vis-A-vis 2018, the domestic GST collections up by 4.5% but still lower than government projections Lower rates alone will not stop GST evasion simpler rules will Petrol and diesel should come under GST, says industry body Assocham component has shown 6.74 percent growth while the GST on imports has shown negative growth and the total collection has grown by 3.38 percent,” the Finance Ministry said.

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