Gujarat government’s Goods & Service Tax (SGST) collections have gone up by over Rs 6,100 crore in the first five months of the current calendar year compared to the year-ago period. Though the second Covid-19 wave was more intense than the first, the state government ensured that trade and industry should continue operations, said a senior official with the state finance department.
“Despite certain restrictions, most of the trades and industrial units could continue their operations. The authority refrained from complete lockdown and instead allowed businesses to operate in stipulated hours. This strategy worked for the government to curb the increasing cases of coronavirus infections without disturbing the business ecosystem,” said the official.
As per the official data of the state finance department, state GST collection during the first five months of the current calendar year has gone up by Rs 6,166 crore to Rs 17357 crore year-on-year.
The state GST collection performance on month-on-month basis has improved as a collection in January 2021 has surged to Rs 3,414 crore from Rs 3,132 crore in the same month last year. In February GST collection soared from Rs 3,516 crore to Rs 3,209 crore. In March 2021, it was at Rs 3,519 crore compared to Rs 2,840 in March 2020. In April and May this year the GST collection was as high as Rs 4,272 crore and Rs 2,637 crore respectively.
In April 2020, the GST collection dipped due to complete lockdown. The second wave of Covid-19 was worst during the first three weeks of May this year. Despite this, the GST collection in May improved compared to last year during the same month, as the government allowed businesses to function in a restricted manner, claimed the official.
Interestingly, for the first time in the history of the GST regime, monthly state GST collection has crossed Rs 4,000 crore mark during April this year. “It is possible because of stern action taken against those who were caught in state GST thefts. Thanks to our surveillance teams’ effort, almost 90% GST returns are being filed,” said the official.