The amount of money collected as Goods and Services Tax (GST) has declined for the second straight month in November to Rs.80,808 crore. This represents the lowest amount of GST collection since its implementation five months ago. Though this decline has raised certain concerns for the central government, some experts say that tax collection is likely to increase from January onwards.
The finance ministry revealed that 53.06 lakh tax returns have been filed for the month of November. The number of returns is on the lower side considering the fact that India has over 99 lakh GST registrants. Among the total registrants, more than 16.5 lakh have opted for the composition scheme that requires paying taxes on a quarterly basis.
One of the major reasons cited for the decline in GST collection is the rate cut provided to over 200 items in November. Many experts stated that the dip in GST collection for the month of November was expected due to the tax rate cuts and refunds offered to exporters. They also mentioned that collections for December could also be impacted by opening credit claim. Starting from January 2018, GST collection is expected to stabilise all over the country.
Of the total GST collected for November, Rs.13,089 crore was collected as central GST and Rs.18,650 crore was collected as state GST. Integrated GST (IGST) contributed about Rs.41,270 crore and the remaining amount was from compensation cess. Certain portion of the IGST amount was transferred to SGST and CGST amount owing to inter-state transactions.
GST collection for the month of October stood at Rs.83,350 crore. For the month of September, it amounted to Rs.92,150 crore. This is the second straight month that GST collection has fallen way below the Rs.90,000 crore mark. Though this is too early to cause any major concerns, this significant decline in GST collection will put some additional pressure on the upcoming union budget.