GST Collection For February Hits An All-Time High Of Rs 1.24 Lakh Crore
A vendor counts Indian rupee banknotes at a vegetable wholesale market in Mumbai. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

GST Collection For February Hits An All-Time High Of Rs 1.24 Lakh Crore

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India's goods and services tax collection touched an all-time as the economy continues to rebound after the disruption caused by the pandemic.

GST revenue for February, collected in March, was around Rs 1.24 lakh crore, according to a statement from the Ministry of Finance on Thursday. That was 9.7% higher than the previous month and a 27% increase over a year earlier.

This was the sixth consecutive month that the GST revenue has stayed above Rs 1 lakh crore. The finance ministry said in a statement that "a steep increasing trend over this period are clear indicators of rapid economic recovery post pandemic."

“Closer monitoring against fake-billing, deep data analytics using data from multiple sources including GST, income-tax and customs IT systems and effective tax administration have also contributed to the steady increase in tax revenue over last few months,” the official statement said.

Breakup of GST collection for February:

  • Central GST: Rs 22,973 crore.

  • State GST: Rs 29,329 crore.

  • Integrated GST: Rs 62,842 crore (including Rs 31,097 crore collected on import of goods).

  • Compensation cess: Rs 8,757 crore (including Rs 935 crore collected on import of goods).

Aditi Nayar, principal economist at ICRA Ltd., said GST revenue numbers, along with an additional tax devolution to states announced by the government on Thursday show that tax revenues in FY21 have exceeded the budget’s revised estimates. “As a result, we continue to expect the government’s fiscal deficit to undershoot the FY21 RE of Rs 18.5 trillion (Rs 18.5 lakh crore), suggesting ample cash balances at the start of FY22,” Nayar said.

The Finance Ministry in an official statement on Thursday said it has released an additional tax devolution of Rs 45,000 crore to states for FY21. The latest tranche of Rs 30,500 crore was released on March 31, taking the total tax devolution to states to around Rs 5.95 lakh crore. According to the government’s revised estimates, around Rs 5.50 lakh crore was the shareable pool of taxes and duties to be given to states in FY21.

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