Year-end compliances lift GST revenues to record ₹1.87 lakh crore in April

Revenues from goods imports declined 4.5% even as domestic transactions yielded 16% more taxes

May 01, 2023 06:12 pm | Updated 07:38 pm IST

The goods and services tax (GST) revenue collection for April was record-high at ₹ 1.87 lakh crore, the government said on May 1, 2023.

The goods and services tax (GST) revenue collection for April was record-high at ₹ 1.87 lakh crore, the government said on May 1, 2023. | Photo Credit: Nagara Gopal

India’s gross GST revenues hit a record high in April at ₹1,87,035 crore, 12% higher than the same month last year which had clocked the previous highest tax tally of ₹1.67 lakh crore.

GST revenues from domestic transactions carried out during March, including import of services, grew at a sharper 16% pace year-on-year in April, accelerating from the 14% recorded a month earlier.

While the Finance Ministry did not explicitly disclose the revenue growth attributable to goods imports for April, back-of-the-envelope calculations indicate there was a 4.5% decline from last April — the first contraction in revenues from goods imports in over a year.

Also read: March sees second highest GST collection of ₹1.6 lakh crore

The first three quarters of 2022-23 had recorded over 25% growth in GST revenues from goods imports. That growth was more tepid in the previous two months – 6% in February and 8% in March, indicating cooling domestic demand.

April’s decline in revenues from goods imports could have been partly triggered by the challenges faced by importers under a new Customs duty payment system introduced since April 1, indicated an official.

GST Compensation Cess collections also hit a fresh record of ₹12,025 crore in April, which included about ₹900 crore collected from imports of goods. This tally eclipsed the ₹11,931 crore collected through the Cess in February, which was the highest till now.

Mahesh Jaising, partner at Deloitte India, said the phenomenal growth in the overall collections was attributable to year-end compliances by taxpayers for 22-23 along with rising economic activity and the official push for GST audits.

“With revenues stabilising over the ₹1.5 lakh crore mark in recent months, the time is right to rationalise the multiple GST rate structure and undertake some forward-looking transformational changes to the law to help industry on the working capital front,” he said.

Central GST collections accounted for ₹38,440 crore, State GST levies raked in ₹47,412 crore, while the Integrated GST yielded ₹89,158 crore, which included ₹34,972 crore collected on import of goods, the ministry said.

April 20 also marked the highest ever single day GST collection, the ministry said, with ₹68,228 crore remitted by taxpayers through 9.8 lakh transactions. The same day last year had seen tax payments of ₹57,846 crore in 9.6 lakh transactions.

While overall domestic transactions yielded 16% higher revenue from last April, the trends were very mixed across States. Revenue growth in Odisha was a mere 3%, while it was 4% in Gujarat, 5% in Rajasthan, 6% in Andhra Pradesh and 8% in Delhi.

Revenues from the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir shot up 44% (43% in Ladakh), while the uptick was 28% in Madhya Pradesh, 23% in Karnataka, 21% in Maharashtra and 19% in Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand.

“GST collections have maintained a healthy 11% to 13% growth in recent months, but a normalising base and some cooling of inflation may moderate the pace of expansion slightly in the coming quarter,” said ICRA chief economist Aditi Nayar.

“The total number of e-way bills generated in March 2023 was 9 crore, 11% higher than 8.1 crore e-way bills generated in the February 2023,” the ministry said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said this is great news for the Indian economy. “Rising tax collection despite lower tax rates shows the success of how GST has increased integration and compliance,” he said in a tweet.

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