Indirect tax collections up 4.7% in April-June

Indirect tax mop up grew at a slower pace of 4.7 per cent in the April-June quarter of current fiscal, mainly on account of decline in excise duty collection, reflecting slump in manufacturing activity.

Indirect tax collections comprising excise, customs and service tax stood at about Rs 1.11 lakh crore, as against Rs 1.05 lakh crore in the corresponding period a year ago, a finance ministry official said.

The growth at 4.7 per cent is far less than 19 per cent increase envisaged in the Budget for the full 2013-14 fiscal.

Excise collection dropped 4.9 per cent during the quarter to over Rs 37,600 crore, a sign that manufacturing output is slowing.

Growth in industrial production has slowed to 0.1 per cent in the first two months of the fiscal beginning April, as against 0.6 per cent in the year ago period.

Customs mop-up was up just 6.9 per cent to over Rs 40,800 crore during the quarter under review.

Service tax collection, which has become a new focus area for revenue officials, grew by 15.2 per cent to Rs 32,500 crore during the period.

With an aim to widen the service tax net, the government during the last fiscal introduced the concept of negative list of taxation. As per it, all services except those in the negative list, are taxable.

The Revenue Department is targeting 12 lakh non-filers and stop-filers of service tax to meet the annual target of Rs 1.81 lakh crore collection from this segment during this fiscal.

The indirect tax collection target for 2013-14 fiscal stands at Rs 5.65 lakh crore, up from Rs 4.73 lakh crore collected in 2012-13 --- envisaging a growth of 19 per cent.

The official further said while the tax collection is growing at a slower pace, the "silver lining" is that excise duty collection has entered into a positive zone in the month of June after two consecutive months of contraction.

Excise duty mop up in April and May had contracted 14.7 per cent and 2.7 per cent respectively, but in June it grew by 0.9 per cent year-on-year. Meanwhile, the finance ministry has asked excise commissioners to concentrate on top 100 assessees in their respective zones.

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