The goods and services tax (GST) collection touched a record high of Rs 1.68 trillion in April, surpassing the Rs 1.5-trillion mark for the first time since the introduction of the tax regime in 2017.
The mop-up is Rs 26,000 crore higher than the previous record of Rs 1.42 trillion in March, shows the provisional data released by the finance ministry, which indicates an improved economic activity despite the escalating geopolitical conflict. GST collections have remained over the Rs 1.10-trillion mark since July 2021.
The newly released GST figures pertain to transactions in March but tax collected in April. Even though the steep GST collection partly benefits from year-end adjustments, the high growth trend is likely to continue in the coming months, experts said.
The ministry attributed the robust mop-up to its tightened compliance measures and a crackdown on GST evaders and fake bills. “It is a result of various measures taken by the tax administration to nudge taxpayers to file timely returns and make compliance easier, and smoother and strict enforcement action taken against errant taxpayers identified based on data analytics and artificial intelligence,” the ministry stated.
At Rs 1,67,540 crore, the GST collection in April 2022 grew 20 per cent when compared to Rs 1,39,708 crore a year ago. While central GST mop-up stood at Rs 33,159 crore, state GST collection was Rs 41,793 crore, and integrated GST collection was Rs 81,939 crore, including Rs 36,705 crore from import of goods and cess mop-up of Rs 10,649 crore (including Rs 857 crore from import of goods), the ministry said.
During the month, the revenues from import of goods were 30 per cent higher YoY and the revenues from domestic transactions (including import of services) were 17 per cent greater than the year-ago figure.
The number of e-way bills (one of the high-frequency indicators) generated in March was 77 million, 13 per cent higher than the 68 million in February 2022, which reflects the recovery in business activity at a faster pace, the ministry said. It stressed: “For the first time gross GST collection has crossed the Rs 1.5-trillion mark.”
Emphasising the GST return filing, it said that during the month, 10.6 million GST returns from GSTR-3B were filed, of which 9.7 million pertained to March. In April itself, 84.7 per cent of registered businesses paid taxes by filing GSTR-3B, compared to 78.3 per cent in the year-ago period.
Also, 83.11 per cent of GST registered businesses have filed supply or sales return GSTR-1, compared to 73.9 per cent a year ago.
The highest-ever tax collection in a single day happened on April 20 and Rs 57,847 crore was paid as GST through 958,000 transactions, the finance ministry highlighted.
"The steep growth in GST collections is based on all major states reporting increases, ranging from 9 per cent to 25 per cent, GST return filing standing at 10.6 million returns, and e-way bill generation at 77 million, accompanied by a deep focus on data analytics to curb evasion,” said M S Mani, partner, Deloitte India.
The government has settled Rs 33,423 crore to CGST and Rs 26,962 crore to SGST from IGST. Total revenue of the Centre and states in April after regular settlement was Rs 66,582 crore CGST and Rs 68,755 crore SGST, the government said.
Aditi Nayar, chief economist at ICRA, sees the rise in tax inflow as a signal of healthy economic activity despite geopolitical tension. “All-time high magnitude of inflows is very enthusing, and augurs well for robust year-on-year growth in the months ahead, as well.”
State-wise GST mop-up
State-wise, the collection rose the most in Uttarakhand -- up 33 per cent YoY to Rs 1,887 crore, from Rs 1,422 crore. GST collections remained above 20 per cent for Odisha (28 per cent), Maharashtra (25 per cent), Haryana (22 per cent), and Andhra Pradesh (22 per cent).