GST collections break record, hit almost ₹1.24 lakh crore in March

India’s gross GST collections in the month of March have hit a record figure of ₹1,23,902 crore, the Finance Ministry said on Thursday. This is the sixth month in a row since October 2020 that GST revenues have crossed ₹1 lakh crore.

The indirect tax collections in March are 27% higher than March 2020, the ministry said. Revenues from import of goods were 70% higher in March than a year ago, and the revenues from domestic transaction (including import of services) were 17% higher.

“The GST revenues during March 2021 are the highest since the introduction of GST,” the Finance Ministry said in a statement, stressing that this is in line with the trend of recovery in collections.

“GST revenues crossed above ₹1 lakh crore mark at a stretch for the last six months and a steep increasing trend over this period are clear indicators of rapid economic recovery post pandemic,” it added, pointing to the 14% growth in revenues in the fourth quarter of 2020-21, compared to a 41% decline in the first lockdown-hit quarter.

Apart from a recovery in the economy, GST collections were also bolstered by closer monitoring against fake-billing, deep data analytics using data from multiple sources including GST, Income-tax and Customs IT systems and effective tax administration over the last few months, the ministry said.

The CGST collections in the month stood at ₹22,973 crore, SGST ₹29,329 crore, IGST ₹62,842 crore (including ₹31,097 crore collected on import of goods) and Cess is ₹8,757 crore (including ₹935 crore collected on import of goods).

“The all-time high GST collections of 1.23 lakh crore reflect a significant uptick. It clearly shows a sustained economic recovery and also is a result of audit closures and the government tightening compliance and anti-evasion measures,” said Abhishek Jain, tax partner at EY.

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