GST mop-up hits a record in March

The indirect tax collections were 27% higher than that in March 2020.

The gross GST collections in March hit a record of ₹1,23,902 crore, the Union Finance Ministry said on Thursday. This is the sixth month in a row that GST revenues have remained above ₹1 lakh crore.

“The GST collections for March have created a record; it has never been so high. We have crossed the record collections by a good margin,” Revenue Secretary Tarun Bajaj told The Hindu.

The indirect tax collections in March were 27% higher than that in March 2020, with revenues from import of goods 70% more than a year ago, and the revenues from domestic transaction, including import of services, 17% higher.

“GST revenues crossed above ₹1 lakh crore mark at a stretch for the last six months and a steep increasing trend over this period are clear indicators of rapid economic recovery post pandemic,” the Ministry said in a statement, pointing to the 14% growth in revenues in the fourth quarter of 2020-21, compared with a 41% decline in the first lockdown-hit quarter.

Apart from a recovery in the economy, GST collections were also bolstered by 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 over the past few months, the Ministry said.

“The all-time high GST collection … shows a sustained economic recovery and also is a result of audit closures and the government tightening compliance and anti-evasion measures,” said Abhishek Jain, tax partner at EY.

The CGST collections in the month stood at ₹22,973 crore, SGST at ₹29,329 crore, IGST at ₹62,842 crore, including ₹31,097 crore collected on import of goods, and cess at ₹ 8,757 crore, including ₹935 crore collected on import of goods.

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