GST collections dip to Rs 97,597 crore in March

New Delhi, April 1 (IANS) The sluggishness in the economy for the past few months has begun reflecting in the tax collections with the Goods and Services Tax (GST) mop-up breaching the psychological Rs 1 lakh crore level to Rs 97,597 crore in March.
It has been 8 per cent lower than Rs 1,06,577 crore reported in the year-ago month. The GST collections had remained above the Rs 1 lakh crore mark since November, standing at Rs 1,05,000 crore in February 2020.
Of the Rs 97,597 crore GST collections for March, the CGST was Rs 19,183 crore, the SGST Rs 25,601 crore, an official statement said.
The IGST mop-up stood at 44,508 crore (including Rs 18,056 crore on imports) and the cess collected was Rs 8,306 crore (including a, 841 crore on imports). The total number of GSTR-3B returns filed for February, up to March 31, is 76.5 lakh.
“The GST revenues in March 2020 from domestic transactions have shown a negative growth of 4 per cent over the revenue March 2019,” a Finance Ministry statement said.
Taking into account the GST collected on imports, the total revenue in the month decreased by 8 per cent against the revenue collected in the year-ago month. “During this month, the GST on import has shown a negative growth of 23 per cent against March 2019,” it said.
For FY20, the GST for domestic transaction has shown a 8 per cent growth over the revenues during last year. But the GST from imports fell by 8 per cent in FY20 against FY19.
Overall, the gross GST revenues grew at 4 per cent in FY20 over FY19. “The lower than budgeted GST collections (in March) could be on account of the overall sluggishness in the economy in the past few months. As these figures relate to transactions in February, they may not have been influenced by the lockdown, whose impact may be visible next month,” M.S. Mani, Partner, Deloitte India, said.
“At this stage, it’s necessary for businesses to conserve cash to enable resumption of operations once the lockdown ends. Any deferral of the GST payment by a few months would significantly help them in this process,” he said.
Of the March collections, the government has settled Rs 19,718 crore to the CGST and Rs 14,915 crore to the SGST from the IGST as regular settlement. In addition, the Centre has also apportioned unsettled balance IGST of Rs 6,000 crore on ad hoc basis in the ratio of 50:50 between the Centre and states/UTs.
The total revenue earned by the Centre and states after regular settlement in March was Rs 41,901 crore for the CGST and Rs 43,516 crore for the SGST.

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