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Govt’s indirect tax collection up by 16.1% in April-Dec

New Delhi: Belying concerns over slowdown, indirect tax collections increased 16.1 per cent to Rs 2,85,787 crore during April-December mainly driven by an uptick in service tax mop-up.

Total collection of indirect tax — Customs, Central Excise and Service Tax — was Rs 2,46,168 crore in the same period last year.

“We hope we will be able to meet the Budget Estimates of Rs 3,92,908 crore (from indirect taxes) this fiscal,” Chairman of Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) S K Goel told reporters while releasing the data.

The indirect tax collection in three quarters of 2011-12 is about 72.7 per cent of the Budget Estimates.

The collection has shown a growth despite Rs 36,000 crore revenue forgone on account of customs and excise tax cut on petroleum products. The levies were slashed in June to provide a cushion to consumers against hike in prices of diesel, kerosene and LPG were hiked.

The tax mop up in December was Rs 34,819 crore, up 15.9 per cent from Rs 30,054 crore in the year ago period.

“December has given a positive news particularly on the Central Excise front, as the collection increased by 9.7 per cent to Rs 12,546 crore (year-on-year),” Goel added.

The growth in excise collection is a positive news, he said as the mop up had declined by 6.5 in November and by 8.7 per cent in September. It had shown a growth in October.

Goel further said that Service Tax collection continues to be strong and has shown 48.6 per cent expansion in December to Rs 9,665 crore from the year ago period.

There has been concerns on the economic growth prospects of the country in wake of high cost of credit coupled with global scenario. The economy is expected to slow to about 7 per cent this fiscal, against 8.5 per cent in the previous year.

As per indirect tax data, the collection in customs duty increased to Rs 12,608 crore in December, up 4.1 per cent from 12,109 crore in the same month of 2010. During April-December, the customs collection was 1,12,670 crore, up 13.8 per cent year-on-year.
Hoping that excise duty mop-up will further increase in the remaining months of the fiscal, Goel said officials have been asked to further streamline collection process.

When asked what is the reason for increase in excise collections in December, he said small businesses have started paying the levy. Besides, businesses which have exhausted their CENVAT credit are now paying the tax in cash.

Excise collection in December was 12,546 crore and in three quarters was Rs 1,05,411 crore. Service tax collection in December was 9,665 crore and during April-December was 67,706 crore.

The CBEC chief also said that the extension of date to file Service Tax to January 6 has also helped in increasing the collection of levy. He indicated that the deadline for service tax may be further extended.

The Board has achieved 74.3 per cent, 66.2 per cent and 82.6 per cent collection of Budget estimates for customs, central excise and service tax, respectively.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today met Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and CBEC officials of North Zone to take stock of tax collection scenario and asked them to further increase the realisation.

The revised Budget estimates for both direct and indirect taxes are higher. The revenue collection estimate is Rs 7.89 lakh crore.

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