GST revenues fall, FM says steps taken to up compliance

GST revenues fall, FM says steps taken to up compliance

GST revenues fall, FM says steps taken to up compliance

After a rebound in December, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) revenues fell again in January to Rs 86,318 crore.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, however, said that GST compliance will be further simplified to increase the tax base. The modalities are being worked out, he said at a public event here.

"At the moment, we are coming out (with norms). It is almost in the final stages of its preparation, where compliances are going to be made simpler itself," Jaitley said.

GST collections had increased to Rs 86,703 crore in December. That month was the first rebound after a decline in October and November.

The Finance Ministry said that of the Rs 86,318 crore collected during the month, Rs 14,233 crore had been collected as CGST, Rs 19,961 crore as SGST, Rs 43,794 crore as IGST, and Rs 8,331 as compensation cess.

The ministry said that 1.03 crore taxpayers have been registered under GST till February 25, of which 17.65 lakh are composition dealers who are required to file returns every quarter.

In a statement, the ministry said that a total of 1.23 lakh composition dealers have opted out of the scheme and have thus become regular taxpayers. It said the number of composition dealers is 16.42 lakh as in February.

The Finance Ministry officials maintain that GST collections will pick up in the coming months after teething troubles disappear and anti-evasion measures are in place.

Jaitley said that the next stage of reforms will start once India becomes a significant tax-compliant society.

"For instance, we have two standard rates and in the long run, I do see them merging into one. For that to happen, it will take some reasonable time that is when the compliance levels start moving up," he said.

On the compliance burden of the GST, Jaitley said it was a little heavy, but the process would ease on account of the initiatives being undertaken by the Revenue Department.