GST revenue collection hits fresh high of Rs 1.7L crore in April

NEW DELHI: Goods and services tax (GST) collections rose almost 20% in April to reach a fresh high of nearly Rs 1.7 lakh crore, pointing to a continued buoyancy in revenue due to higher economic activity and tighter regulation. The growth in revenue collections in April, based on transactions in March, is the fastest pace of expansion since November 2021.

“For the first time gross GST collection has crossed the Rs 1.5 lakh crore mark. Total number of e-way bills generated in the month of March 2022 was 7.7 crore, which is 13% higher than 6.8 crore e-way bills generated in the month of February 2022, which reflects recovery of business activity at faster pace,” the finance ministry said in a statement.

The government is banking on higher-than-budgeted revenue collections to deal with the increased spending, due to the Ukraine war and extension of the free foodgrains scheme by another 6 months. A strong growth also augurs well for the states, which will have to make do without compensation from the Centre as the 14% assured revenue growth formula is due to end in June.

“The record collection is in the backdrop of the commendable usage of technology in compliances by the government. Also, the usage of analytics has helped too. It is interesting to note that the growth is across most of the states. The steady growth over the recent collection of Rs 135,000 core average a month, reflects a stabilisation of the GST collection and growth as well. The growth also reflects enhanced business activities,” Mahesh Jaising, a partner at consulting firm Deloitte India, said.

During April 2022, 1.1 crore GST returns were filed in April, with 97 related to April, the finance ministry said. Till end of the month, the filing percentage for GSTR-3B in April 2022 was 84.7% as compared to 78.3% in April 2021 and the filing percentage for GSTR-1 in April 2022 was 83.11% as compared to 73.9% in April 2021.

“This shows clear improvement in the compliance behaviour, which has been a result of various measures taken by the tax administration to nudge taxpayers to file returns timely, to making compliance easier and smoother and strict enforcement action taken against errant taxpayers identified based on data analytics and AI” it said.