As the fiscal year draws to a close, it is worth examining how the government’s indirect tax collections have panned out this year, given that it was the year of the introduction of the goods and services tax (GST). What emerges from the data on GST collection, released on Tuesday, is that the well-known disruptions that accompanied the roll-out of the GST were taken into account by the government in the Budget-making exercise. When the state GST is taken out of the equation, the Union Budget for 2018-19 estimated that Rs 4.4 trillion would be collected in 2017-18. Now that the figures for February are in, it is clear that this figure has been met and perhaps exceeded slightly, especially if the Budget numbers are adjusted for compensation that has to be paid to states during the transition period. While the February numbers for tax collection showed the second consecutive decline, the fact remains that the roll-out does not appear to have compromised the Union government’s
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