NEW DELHI :
Central and state governments collected ₹1.16 trillion in goods and services tax (GST) in July, showing that consumption has picked up with the easing of mobility restrictions.
The finance ministry said this figure covers revenue collection from 1 July to 31 July. However, a small part of it— ₹4,937 crore—collected in the first five days of the month were earlier included in the figures for June as interest relief for delayed payment was given for that period. Despite that, a GST collection above ₹1 trillion offers comfort to authorities as it indicates a sequential revenue growth trajectory with the nation moving past the peak of the pandemic’s second wave.
The Centre collected ₹50,284 crore, and states collected ₹52,641 crore in July. Revenues for July are 33% higher than a year ago, the ministry said. The government had imposed a stringent national lockdown during the first wave of the pandemic last year.
After staying above ₹1 trillion mark for eight straight months from last October, GST receipts dropped below that level in June. Revenue receipts during June were predominantly related to transactions in May, when most states and Union territories were under complete or partial lockdown due to the pandemic, the finance ministry said in a statement.
“With the easing of covid restrictions, GST collection for July 2021 has again crossed ₹1 trillion, which clearly indicates that the economy is recovering at a fast pace. The robust GST revenues are likely to continue in the coming months, too,” said the ministry.
The improvement in GST collections on domestic transactions and imports, accompanied by the fact that major producing states have shown significant increases, would indicate that economic activities have resumed, said M.S. Mani, senior director, Deloitte India.
Data relating to electronic permits issued for goods transportation within and across states—e-way bills—showed economic activity gathered momentum in July, for which taxes will be paid in August. Daily average e-way bills generated improved from 1.82 million in June to 1.98 million in July, data from GSTN, the company that processes tax returns, showed based on data available till 25 July. Abhishek Jain, a tax partner at EY, said the rebound in GST receipts seen in July is an indicator of economic recovery and that the uptrend was expected to continue.
The trend further bolsters the Centre’s fiscal position. In April-June, the central government collected ₹2.46 trillion in net direct tax receipts, more than double the amount collected a year ago. Businesses pay first advance tax instalment in June, taking a view on what they expect to be the level of profitability for the whole year. Net indirect tax receipts of the Centre, too, rose by 70% to ₹3.1 trillion in the first quarter this fiscal from the year-ago period, as per data available from the finance ministry.
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