Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 1
The New Year has brought cheer to the strained Central finances, with GST revenues during December touching their highest level since the inception of this unified tax regime.
The GST collection in December crossed Rs 1.15 lakh crore, which is the highest till now. The earlier peak was Rs 1.14 lakh crore in April 2019.
The final figures surprised analysts and government officials, who were expecting the figure to marginally exceed collections of about Rs 1.05 lakh crore each in the previous two months.
The break-up shows that almost Rs 6,000 crore additional GST in December as compared to November has come from imports. During the month, revenue from the import of goods was 27 per cent higher and the revenues from domestic transactions (including import of services) are eight per cent higher than the revenues from these sources during the same month last year.
The government attributed the new peak in the GST revenue to a combined effect of the rapid economic recovery post pandemic and a concerted drive against evaders and fake bills. Several systemic changes introduced recently also led to improved compliance, said an official news release.
Analysts, on the other hand, attributed the rise to pent-up demand and the Diwali festive season. The RBI and analysts have sought support after the festive season as they fear that February and March will be difficult.
The government sought to underline the significance of the collections in December by pointing out that the previous high was in the month of April, when revenues normally tend to be high, since they reflect the returns of March, which marks the end of the financial year.
Of the gross GST revenue collected in December, the CGST is Rs 21,365 crore (Rs 19,189 crore in November), SGST is Rs 27,804 crore (Rs 25,540 crore last month) and the IGST is Rs 57,426 crore (Rs 51,992 crore in November), including Rs 27,050 crore collected on import of goods (Rs. 22,078 crore). The cess is Rs 8,579 crore (Rs 8,242 crore), including Rs 971 crore (Rs 809 crore) collected on import of goods.
Till now, the GST revenues have crossed Rs 1.1 lakh crore three times. This is the third month in a row in the current financial year after the economy has started showing signs of recovery post pandemic that the GST revenues have been more than Rs 1 lakh crore. The average growth in GST revenues during the last quarter has been 7.3 per cent as compared to (-) 8.2 per cent during the second quarter and (-) 41.0 per cent during the first quarter of the financial year.
What the govt says
The government has attributed the new peak in the GST revenue to a combined effect of the rapid economic recovery post pandemic and a concerted drive against evaders and fake bills
Pent-up demand led to rise: Analysts
Analysts, on the other hand, attributed the rise to pent-up demand and the Diwali festive season. The RBI and analysts have sought support after the festive season, as they fear that February and March will be difficult.