Prelims Level
Mains Level
Prelims Syllabus : Economy Mains Syllabus : Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.

In News:

  • Goods and Services Tax (GST) collections continued to slide downwards for the second straight month, falling to Rs 94,726 crore in December (for November), data released by Finance Ministry
  • The compliance rate, however, improved with 72.44 lakh businesses filing the summary GSTR-3B returns in December as against 69.6 lakh businesses filing GST returns in the previous month.

Paradox:

  • Cumulatively, the government has collected Rs 8,71,043 crore as GST revenue in AprilDecember, the first nine months of this financial year.
  • With Rs 8.71 lakh crore collected so far and only a quarter remaining in this financial year, the government is still short of the overall target by Rs 4.77 lakh crore, giving rise to concerns about meeting Budget targets. Government finances are already under strain, with government’s fiscal deficit for April-November period rising to Rs 7.17 lakh crore or 114.8 per cent of the full-year target of Rs 6.24 lakh crore.
  • In the Budget for 2018-19, GST collections, including compensation cess, have been pegged at Rs 7.44 lakh crore, out of which the Centre aims to collect Central GST (CGST) of Rs 6.04 lakh crore and Integrated GST (IGST) of Rs 50,000 crore. In theory, IGST is supposed to be equally divided between Centre and the states.
  • Adding State GST (SGST) collections equivalent to CGST would mean the total GST collections have been pegged at Rs 13.48 lakh crore, implying a monthly target of Rs 1.12 lakh crore.
  • GST collections are expected to slip further after the recent round of rate cuts on 23 goods and services announced in the 31st GST Council meeting held on December 22 and became effective from January 1.

Paradox’s Effect:

  • The slight dip in GST revenue collections as compared to the last two months is a bit discouraging. This may deter the government from rationalizing the rate of goods left in the 28 per cent category like cement, auto parts, etc. in the short term.
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