Gross goods and services tax (GST) collections stood at Rs 1.05 lakh crore for February (for sales in January), a rise of 8 per cent over last year but lower than Rs 1.10 lakh crore in January, a Finance Ministry release said Sunday. Compliance rate was at the same level as last month, with total number of GSTR-3B returns filed for the month of January — till February 29 — being recorded at 83 lakh, the release said.
GST revenues from domestic transactions for February posted a growth of 12 per cent over the same month last year, while GST revenue from imports posted a contraction of 2 per cent as against February 2019. With this, the total gross GST revenue now stands at Rs 11.25 lakh crore as against the approximate full year aim of Rs 11.26 lakh crore.
“The gross GST revenue collected in the month of February, 2020 is Rs 1,05,366 crore of which CGST (Central GST) is Rs 20,569 crore, SGST (State GST) is Rs 27,348 crore, IGST (Integrated GST) is Rs 48,503 crore and cess is Rs 8,947 crore,” the release said.
The government has settled Rs 22,586 crore to CGST and Rs 16,553 crore to SGST from IGST as regular settlement.
“The total revenue earned by Central Government and the State Governments after regular settlement in the month of February, 2020 is Rs 43,155 crore for CGST and Rs 43,901 crore for the SGST,” the release stated.
Tax experts, however, raised concerns saying the recent blocking of input tax credit has led to increase in GST collections and it may not be a sustainable trend. Pratik Jain, PwC India partner & leader—indirect tax, said while the GST collection again looks impressive considering the overall economic scenario, one will have to see how much of it is due to restriction and blockage of input credits which has been happening in the last three months or so.
“The issue of blockage of input credit from the back-end (on account of alleged difference between credit claimed and that disclosed by vendors) is becoming a concern for the industry and the GST Council should look into this. Otherwise, we may see lower collections later, when the credit is actually utilised,” Jain added.
EY tax partner Abhishek Jain said one possible significant reason linked to reasonable collections is the differential liabilities discharged by businesses in reference to the observations in GST annual returns and audit for FY 2017-18, which was due in January 2020.
Deloitte India partner MS Mani said with the monthly collections now stabilising at over Rs 1 trillion per month, GST authorities would now go all out to enhance the March collections so that the deficit is reduced to the extent possible.
“These numbers indicate that the GST collections are becoming stable. With new changes like e-invoicing and new returns slated for next month, more stability is expected in future,” he said.
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