Business Standard

Last date for filing GST returns extended

- ISHAN BAKSHI

Businesses will have more time to file the final goods and services tax (GST) returns, as the government on Monday extended the last date for filing sales and purchase data as well as payment of taxes for the months of July and August. Now sales return or GSTR-1 for July will have to be filed by September 10 instead of September 5 earlier and purchase returns or GSTR-2 would be filed by September 25 instead of September 10 earlier. GSTR-3, which is the match of GSTR-1 and GSTR-2, will have to be filed by September 30, in place of September 15.

Inventorie­s grew by 1.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2017-18, countering claims that the slowdown in economic growth during the quarter was caused by de-stocking in anticipati­on of the rollout of the goods and service tax (GST) from July 1.

An economic revival in the second quarter was expected because stocks were likely to be restored to normal levels as the GST progressed, Chief Statistici­an of India TCA Anant had said.

But the expenditur­e side of the GDP data shows rather than contractin­g, ‘change in stocks’ grew by 1.2 per cent in the first quarter. Change in stocks, which reflects inventory, has, however, been slowing down from 6.3 per cent in the third quarter of 2016-17 to 3.5 per cent in the fourth quarter and further to 1.2 per cent in April-June.

Sequential­ly, the change in stocks has contracted by 3.8 per cent in April-June, after growing 11.3 per cent in January-March. It has fallen from ~76,862 crores in January-March to ~73,979 crore in April-June, a decline of a mere ~2,883 crores.

Analysts said this trend was visible in other years as well and it would be difficult to pin this on the GST. “The dip in manufactur­ing is possibly attributed to a demand slowdown apart from destocking,” said Soumya Kanti Ghosh, group chief economic adviser, State Bank of India.

“De-stocking has not really shown up to the extent expected in the GDP numbers. It has not been that significan­t,” said Suvodeep Rakshit, economist at Kotak Institutio­nal Equities.

The change in stocks included sectors such as agricultur­e, said Pronab Sen, former chief statistici­an of India. “The CSO has not provided a sector-wise change in stocks position. It is possible the decline in stocks of manufactur­ed products has been offset by higher stocks of other sectors,” he added.

Other economists, however, disagreed, claiming stocks largely comprised of manufactur­ed products.

The trade, hotels, transport and communicat­ions category has grown by 11.1 per cent in April-June, up from 6.5 per cent in January-March. “The increase is likely on account of faster growth in the communicat­ions and hotels categories, apart from destocking that affected the trading segment,” Ghosh said.

“The number of mobile subscriber­s grew 14.2 per cent, year on year, while foreign tourists arrivals have grown 23.8 per cent,” he added.

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