Central GST Revenue Drops 70% For March-April
A bag showing GST placed outside the Parliament. (Source: PTI)

Central GST Revenue Drops 70% For March-April

The central government’s share in the goods and services tax collected in April and May fell to about a third of what it was a year earlier as the Covid-19 lockdown stalled economic activity.

Central GST collection in the first two months of the ongoing fiscal stood at Rs 24,895 crore, according to data on Controller General of Accounts’ website. That’s a 70% drop from the corresponding period in the previous fiscal.

  • The government collected Rs 18,961 crore Central GST for April in May. That compares with Rs 34,557 crore a year earlier.
  • It received Rs 5,934 crore for March in April against Rs 46,848 crore in 2019.
  • For the two months, CGST collection stood at Rs 24,895 crore against Rs 81,405 crore last year.

To be sure, tax collections for the two months may increase as the last date for payment has been extended till July 9 and the government is yet to share the monthly GST data for March and April. Still, the CGA numbers reveal the financial position of the government from April 1 to May 31.

The drop in collections came as the world’s strictest lockdown brought the economy to a standstill before the government started easing curbs gradually.

Still, indirect tax, including GST and other levies, helped narrow the extent of contraction in the gross tax revenues of the central government to 37% in May from 44% in April, Aditi Nayar, vice-president at ICRA Ltd., said in a note. This was due to the uptick in transactions with the easing of lockdown restrictions, she said.

The compensation cess—levied on sin goods—collected for April in May stood at Rs 6,020 crore against Rs 7,713 crore a year earlier. Integrated GST was Rs 9,643 crore.

Tax collections still remain short of the standard monthly target of Rs 1 lakh crore, said Rajat Mohan, a partner at AMRG & Associates. It could be attributed to extension of the tax payment timelines for all the taxpayers, Mohan said.

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