In encouraging signs for the Centre ahead of the Union Budget on Saturday, the GST collections have crossed the Rs.1,00,000 crore mark for the third consecutive month. The figure for the month of January is Rs.1,10,828 crore, which is the second-highest GST collection since it was launched in July 2017. Moreover, there has been a 12% growth in domestic transactions. This indicates not just improved compliance and plugging of evasion but also a possible end to the slowdown in the Indian economy.
As per sources, the GST collection is in line with the target set by Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey in a high-level meeting with senior tax officials. Until Thursday, the number of GSTR 3B returns filed was 8.28 million. There was a special focus on the fraudulent input tax credit claims.
Moreover, the GST officials examined several aspects such as the mismatch of supply and purchase invoices, data analytics of mismatch in GSTR-1, GSTR-2A, and GSTR-3B, failure of filing returns, over-invoicing, recuperation of fake or excess refunds availed beyond the permissible limits, etc. According to reports, around 40,000 companies are under the scanner for excess or fraudulent input tax credit and other tax-related issues.
This year's Budget assumes tremendous significance as the Indian economy is facing multiple challenges such as a rise in inflation, unemployment, farmer distress and a dip in GDP growth. The government has taken inputs from multiple stakeholders. Sitharaman has also announced a series of reform measures in the last few months to give a boost to the economy.
In the Economic Survey 2019-20 tabled on the floor of the Parliament on Friday, the GDP growth for the next fiscal year has been pegged at 6-6.5%. This is much more than the IMF estimate. The Union Finance Minister will present the Union Budget at 11 am on Saturday.