GST collections surge in November

The GST revenues for the month of November 2021, are 25% higher than November 2020, and 27% higher over November 2019.   | Photo Credit: K.V.S. Giri

Gross Goods and Services Tax (GST) collections hit ₹1,31,526 crore in November, the second highest since the GST was implemented in July 2017 and the second month in a row that collections have crossed ₹1.3 lakh crore.

Revenues for November were 25% higher than the same month last year and 27% over the pre-pandemic levels of 2019-20. Tax collections from import of goods were 43% higher, while revenues from domestic transactions, including import of services, were 20% higher, than their respective collections in November 2020.

GST collections surge in November

Economists, however, said the November collections, reflecting transactions undertaken in October, were underwhelming in the context of to the record generation of e-way bills during October.

“These GST collections are somewhat lower than what we had expected, even as the year-on-year expansion is robust,” said Aditi Nayar, chief economist at ICRA. “We were hopeful that the GST collections in November would exceed the prevailing highest collections recorded in April 2021, given the all-time high generation of e-way bills during October,” she noted.

Gross GST revenues in April were originally reported as ₹1,41,384 crore, but data shared on December 1 by the Ministry suggests that those collections has now been revised downwards by ₹1,676 crore to ₹1,39,708 crore.

Emphasising that November’s GST kitty was second only to the collections this April, the Finance Ministry sought to differentiate the significance of the former by stressing that April’s collections related to year-end revenues.

Similarly, October’s ₹1.3 lakh crore collection also included the impact of returns required to be filed quarterly, it noted, to assert that the November revenues are ‘very much in line with the trend in economic recovery’.

Ms. Nayar said that the GST collections may dip in December, as daily average e-way bill generation in the first three weeks of November reflect a deceleration.

“The recent trend of high GST revenues has been a result of various policy and administrative measures that have been taken in the past to improve compliance,” the Ministry said in a statement, adding that Central tax enforcement agencies have detected large tax evasion cases, mainly relating to fake invoices.

Deloitte India partner M.S. Mani agreed that ‘a significant increase in the GST surveillance activities in recent times would have also contributed to the increased collections’ even as economic growth played a part.

“The increase in collections across major states ranging from 18% to 30% plus points to an economic revival across States, accompanied by an increase in collections from import of goods,” he said.

“A large number of initiatives undertaken in the last one year like, enhancement of system capacity, nudging non-filers after last date of filing of returns, auto-population of returns, blocking of e-way bills and passing of input tax credit for non-filers has led to consistent improvement in the filing of returns over the last few months,” the Ministry said.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 4:50:59 AM |

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