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FY21 GST revenue inches close to FY20 collection despite Covid disruptions

Ashutosh Kumar     March 5, 2021

Goods and Service Tax (GST) revenue in the current financial year, which has shown good resilience in the last couple of months, is slowly inching near the FY20 collection despite heavy disruption witnessed during the initial months of the fiscal due to Covid-led lockdown.

GST collections had plummeted by more than 50 percent year on year (YoY) during the lockdown months of April and May last year.

Monthly GST revenue data of the government reveals that in the current financial year between April and February, the government has collected total gross GST revenue of Rs 10,12,873 crore against a total gross GST collection of Rs 12,22,131 crore in 2019-20.  

The ministry of finance is hopeful that the tempo in the revenue collections will be maintained in the remaining month as a number of measures have been taken to track tax avoidance and curb revenue leakage.  

This is despite the massive hit in April and May when the GST collections stood at Rs 32,172 crore and Rs 62,121 crore, respectively. It may be noted that the GST revenue in the month of April and May 2019 stood at Rs 1,13,865 crore and Rs 1,00,289 crore, respectively.  

Experts believe that the monthly GST revenue is only set to grow. V S Krishnan, former member (GST), Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) told BusinessToday.In, "The revenues are growing even though there is not much of a rebound in the economy. The reason for the recent buoyancy in the revenue is several measures taken on the tax evasion front. Also, from April, the business-to-business invoice matching will begin. So the fruits of the GST are yet to be realised in terms of revenue growth."  

It may be noted that despite the pandemic, for the first time GST revenue is above the one lakh crore mark consecutively for five months. Since October, the revenue is above the one lakh crore mark. Ever since the launch of GST in July 2017, the monthly revenues have crossed Rs 1 lakh crore mark only eleven times out of which the collections have crossed the crucial mark for five times in a row in the current financial year.

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