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Import tax revenue climbs 11% in a first fortnight after GST’s born

Author: IANS/Thursday, July 20, 2017/Categories: TRACKING THE GST

Import tax revenue climbs 11% in a first fortnight after GST’s born

New Delhi - Though the complete revenue flows from the GST cannot be guaged before October when the new indirect tax regime completes its first quarter, the revenue collection from imports under the Goods and Services Tax has seen an 11 per cent month-on-month increase in the first 15 days, the CBEC has said.

The total revenue flow from imports stands at Rs 12,673 crore from July 1-15 as compared to Rs 11,405 crore in the corresponding period in June, the Central Board of Excise and Customs said. 

The import of goods has been defined in the Integrated GST Act, 2017, as inter-state supplies, which call for a levy of IGST in addition to the Basic Custom Duty (BCD). Countervailing Duty (CVD) and Special Additional Duty (SAD) on imports have been subsumed in the GST, but not the BCD.

The total revenue figure from July 1-15 includes BCD, IGST, compensation cess, and CVD and SAD on the GST-exempted goods like petroleum products.

Under the GST regime, the supply of goods and services into the territory of India is deemed in the course of inter-state trade for levy of integrated tax. So, import of goods and services is treated as deemed inter-state supplies and is subject to integrated tax. 

"Revenue from customs is all right. We hope we will incur the same revenues that we have incurred in the past, though we do expect growth as we expand year to year. Rs 12,673 crore has been collected as revenue in the first 15 days from June 30 midnight," Chief of Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) Vanaja Sarna told IANS. 

On the GST revenues in entirety, she said the first estimates will come only by October as the traders will file returns in September.

"We need at least one quarter of GST regime i.e. July-August-September. Somewhere in October, we can actually gauge the situation. We need to run GST for three months to actually get an assessment of the revenue," she said.

Though the rates have been fixed at "revenue neutral" to the extent possible to keep the tax incidence same then and now, Sarna said that there may not necessarily be a dip in revenue growth.

"With input tax credit and increased assessee base, it should be revenue neutral. But with digitisation, the assessee base will widen. It's too early to tell," she said.

Finance Minister Aurn Jaitley has said that the total taxpayer base under the GST will easily exceed 80 lakh, the number originally registered under the previous indirect tax regime, which also had duplication because of registrations under Value Added Tax and excise.

So far, 75 lakh new and old registrations have been made under the GST.

In 2016-17, the indirect tax collections, which included central excise, service tax and customs, rose by 22 per cent to Rs 8.63 lakh crore.

The government had earlier predicted the indirect tax collection growth rate to drop to 8-10 per cent in 2017-18.

On the formation of anti-profiteering body, Sarna said that the names of members will be finalised by July-end. "We are looking at the level of Secretary, people who have worked in taxation. By July end we will finalise," she said.

The anti-profiteering authority will comprise of a Chairman and four technical members nominated by the GST Council, to identify registered persons/businessmen who have not passed on the benefit of reduced tax on goods/services or benefit of input tax credit to recipients by way of reduced prices.

It will also have the power to impose penalty on offenders and even cancel the registration of a trader.

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S Vijaykrishnan
S Vijaykrishnan


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