Goods and services tax collections hit a record monthly high of ₹1.41 lakh crore in April, pointing to a recovering economy before the Covid-19 pandemic exploded. April GST collections, for transactions in the previous month, are 14% higher than the ₹1.24 lakh crore collected in March, according to official data. This is the seventh successive month collections have crossed ₹1 lakh crore.
The improvement came despite the second wave of Covid-19 affecting several parts of the country and was indicative of the resilience of Indian businesses, the finance ministry said in a statement on Saturday. “These are clear indicators of sustained economic recovery during this period,” the ministry said.
Experts said the collections could decline going ahead as the pandemic surge has led to closures in many states. “The all-time high collections which relate to supplies made in March 2021 could now give way to muted collections in the coming months due to the lower economic activities in April,” said MS Mani, senior director at Deloitte India.
April revenue comprised central GST of ₹27,837 crore, state GST of ₹35,621 crore, integrated GST of ₹68,481 crore and compensation cess of ₹9,445 crore. After IGST settlements by the Centre, states received a total ₹58,377 crore in April while the Centre collected ₹57,022 crore.
Comparable data for April 2020 is not available due to the nationwide lockdown at the time.
Measures to increase compliance and check evasion have also boosted collections. Closer monitoring against fake billing, deep data analytics using information from multiple sources such as GST, income tax and customs IT systems and effective tax administration have contributed to steady increase in tax revenue, the finance ministry said. “The continuing focus on improving compliance and the steps taken to curb evasion appear to be significantly improving GST collections,” Mani said.