GST receipts cross Rs. 1 lakh cr

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The monthly collection of Goods and Services Tax crossed Rs 1 lakh crore for the first time in April, the Finance Ministry said on Tuesday.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has termed the GST Revenue collection in the month of April as a landmark achievement. "Therefore, this month's revenue can not be taken as a trend for the future" the ministry clarified. However, it acknowledged that this could not be interpreted as a "trend for the future" as taxpayers usually pay arrears of previous months also during March.

While thanking the taxpayers, state and Central govt, Jaitley said that Increased tax collections will help the nation to expand its economic horizons and take it to loftier heights.

He said, with the introduction of e-way bill and improved GST compliance, the collections would continue to show a positive trend.

Of the ₹1.03 lakh crore collection in April, the share of CGST was ₹18,652 crore, SGST ₹25,704 crore, IGST ₹50,548 crore (including ₹21,246 crore collected on imports) and cess ₹8,554 crore (including ₹702 crore collected on imports).

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Furthermore, the ministry noted that a total of 60.47 lakh GSTR 3B returns were filed for the month of March, as on April 30, as against 87.12 lakh, who are eligible to file returns for March, thus accounting for 69.5 percent of the eligible proportion.

The total revenue earned by the Centre and the State governments after settlement in April is ₹32,493 crore for CGST and ₹40,257 crore for SGST.

Earlier, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) had raised objections about the GST collections for March being included in 2017-18 fiscal data as the government follows a cash-based accounting system, according to which the government accounts for a month should reflect the money flowing in government coffers in that month, the official said.

For the full year to March 31, GST collections added up to Rs 7.41 lakh crore, with the March figure being Rs 89,264 crore. Though, there would be some impact of [the] year-end push and adjustments, it is clear that compliance is steadily improving. With only Rs 579 crore coming from these dealers, the government might want to investigate it in detail, feel experts. Therefore, the GST collections in May may provide a better gauge of likely buoyancy for FY19.

The GST Council will meet next via teleconference on May 4, when it is expected to unveil a new and simplified return filing format, which is hoped to increase compliance. The e-Way bill is an important mechanism which serves to check tax evasion under GST, with transporters of goods worth more than Rs 50,000 being mandated to generate an e-Way bill which would be required to be presented to a GST inspector if required.

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