Slump in automobile sector and lull in construction activity said to be the cause
After clocking a growth rate close to 28% in Goods and Services Tax (GST) collections last fiscal, the State government, apparently, could not sustain the momentum during the first quarter of the current financial year.
The Commercial Taxes (CT) department could not achieve the set targets during the first quarter. While ₹1,892 crore was set as target for every month, the collections did not cross ₹1,650 crore each in May and June. The collections should have been ₹7,568 crore, while the total GST collections were only ₹7,345 crore from April to July.
According to information, the financial year started with a positive note as the GST collections touched ₹2,113.54 crore. But, in subsequent months, a dip was registered. In May, the revenue through the GST was ₹1,624.61 crore and ₹1,644.77 crore in June. The collections picked up and it was ₹1,962.77 crore in July. The total GST collection was ₹7,345.69 crore, which was behind the set target of ₹7,568.96 crore.
“This is primarily due to slump in the automobile sector. Also, there is a lull in the construction industry for various reasons. Though a fall in steel and cement prices was witnessed, it did not help in improving the GST collections,” says an official, who did not want to be quoted. As sand supply is restored now, it is expected that the construction activity would pick up and gives a push to the sale of cement and steel. Also, automobile sales would improve only if agriculture activity picks up. The State government has set a target of ₹22,715.88 crore for this year. Going by the trend, it “might be difficult” to achieve the target, the official feels.
The Centre would shoulder the losses due to a fall in the protected revenue. A.P. received a revenue loss compensation to the tune of ₹280 crore during the first year of rolling out of the GST. But, it did not seek any GST compensation during the last financial year and created a record in the country.
As per the GST law, the Centre compensates states to ensure that their revenue is protected at the level of 14% over the base year tax collection in 2015-16. Which means that if the revenue was less than 14% of the base year, the State would be entitled to receive the GST compensation.
Source- The Hindu.