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The indirect revenue collection by the government may fall short of the target this financial year due to the disruption caused by the goods and service tax (GST) rollout, a top official said on Sunday. For the year ending March 2018, the government had budgeted Rs 9.68 trillion collection from customs and GST. However, the official of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) made it clear that there is no plan to revise the revenue collection target for the year. The CBEC functions under the revenue department of the Ministry of Finance. "The revenue collection target from customs and GST, which put together is Rs 9.68 trillion for the current fiscal, seems difficult for the department (to achieve) at the moment, keeping in view the recent GST rollout," Vanaja N Sarna, chairperson, CBEC said. She was talking on the sidelines of Half Marathon organised by the customs department. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley attended the event. GST was rolled out on July 1. However, Sarna said the government has made it clear that it has no plans to revise the target.
Rather, it will wait for the GST rollout to settle down over the next five to six months. Moreover, the department will not penalise traders for any default on tax payment at the moment, she said. Customs has done well but "we have to wait till the GST rollout settles down", she added. In reply to a query, Sarna said close to Rs 200 crore has been disbursed by the department in the form of refunds to exporters so far. Right now, she said, the department wants to be a facilitator for the GST implementation. "It is not our job to penalise traders at the moment. This is despite the fact that our intelligence officials are constantly keeping a close watch on the entire development (related to GST)," she said.