Slow­down in 3 sec­tors, dip in im­ports hit GST col­lec­tion

Auto, Ce­ment, Iron & Steel See Lower Mop-Up Of 6,200Cr

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Global - Sid­[email protected] times­group.com

New Delhi: The slow­down in three sec­tors — au­to­mo­biles, ce­ment and iron and steel — along with fall­ing im­ports have taken a toll on GST col­lec­tions, even as ser­vices sec­tor has man­aged to hold firm.

Col­lec­tions in Septem­ber fell 2.7% to a lit­tle un­der Rs 92,000 crore, the low­est since March 2018, and was way be­low the psy­cho­log­i­cal com­fort level of Rs 1 lakh crore. The three key sec­tors saw lower col­lec­tions of Rs 6,200 crore, while sev­eral sec­tors such as elec­tron­ics, con­sumer goods and to­bacco have seen a healthy rise in GST pay­outs, of­fi­cials told TOI. While goods con­trib­ute around 70% of the GST rev­enue, ser­vices ac­count for the rest.

Auto sec­tor, which has seen sales de­cline for 11 straight months, led the de­cline with Rs 3,500 crore, fol­lowed by ce­ment (around Rs 1,500 crore) and ste

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el (around (Rs1,200 crore). Be­sides, col­lec­tions from im­ports were down nearly 13%, im­pact­ing over­all col­lec­tions. Both im­ports and ex­ports have re­mained weak in re­cent months as do­mes­tic eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity stays muted.

The gov­ern­ment has dis­missed sug­ges­tions that there are flaws with the GST ar­chi­tec­ture, which was re­sult­ing in low col­lec­tions. “Col­lec­tions have been be­low Rs1lakh crore dur­ing the last two months. If there was a prob­lem with the de­sign, how would you ex­plain the rise in ini­tial two years?” an official said.

In Pune, fi­nance min­is­ter Nir­mala Sithara­man also cited floods in many parts of the coun­try, in­clud­ing Ma­ha­rash­tra, Kar­nataka, Hi­machal, and Ut­tarak­hand for the lower mopup. She also said the rev­enue de­part­ment has formed a com­mit­tee to iden­tify rea­sons for col­lec­tion be­ing lower than ex­pec­ta­tions.

Shoring up col­lec­tions was a key theme dur­ing a me

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