Tax Collection Trend Shows Economy Is Recovering: Finance Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey

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'Tax Collection Trend Shows Economy Is Recovering': Finance Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey

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The Finance Secretary said that the generation of e-way bills, required for transportation of goods has revived to pre-COVID levels and online payments have surged exponentially.

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The government's tax collections have picked up and high-frequency activity indicators continue to revive on the back of the government's targeted COVID-19 stimulus, Finance Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey said.

He said that the generation of e-way bills, required for transportation of goods has revived to pre-COVID levels and online payments have surged exponentially.

"The (tax collection) trend shows that it did decline for the past few months, but it is not only on the path of recovery but is also picking up. In the month of September, GST collection was 4 per cent higher than what was there in the corresponding period last year," Pandey said.

"In the month of October, it has risen by 10 per cent year-on-year with a collection of above ₹1.05 lakh crore," he added.

Pandey said that the generation of e-way bills, which is necessary for moving goods worth over ₹50,000, has increased 21 per cent in October, while the number of e-invoice generation has reached 29 lakh IRNs (Invoice Reference Numbers) per day.

"E-way bill and e-invoice coupled with better GST collections show that the economy was not only on the path of recovery but also returning to the growth path and picking up steadily," the Finance Secretary said.

The gross direct tax collection during April-October of the current fiscal stood at ₹4.95 lakh crore, down 22 per cent over the same period last fiscal year. Corporate tax collection declined 26 per cent to ₹2.65 lakh crore, while personal income tax collection was 16 per cent lower at ₹2.34 lakh crore.

GST collection in the April-October period of the current fiscal stood at ₹5.59 lakh crore, 20 per cent lower than the collection in the same period last fiscal.

Experiencing a drop in revenues, the government has issued ₹1.27 lakh crore worth of income tax refunds and ₹70,000 crore GST refunds so far this fiscal.

"In the last 7 months, a total ₹2 lakh crore refund was issued. This was during the time when our collection was less," Pandey said.

Pandey said the department is accumulating third-party information such as taxpayer's consumption pattern, bank statement, mutual fund and share transaction, property transaction, import, export and foreign remittances.

"The economic impact of a pandemic would have been much more if our tax collection system had not improved. During the last year, we have taken measures like faceless assessment, faceless appeal, SFT (statement of financial transactions) and restriction on cash withdrawal by imposing TDS (tax deducted at source). So the unscrupulous people who were evading taxes; now it has become harder for them. These would incentivise people to furnish correct tax information," he said.

The government's intervention in the form of stimulus has addressed the need of the most deserving section of economy and society, he claimed.

"We are continuously monitoring the ground situation and the government will come out with whatever measures needed. We have come out with assistance relating to cash, food, and have provided liquidity to MSMEs and issued tax refunds, deferred tax payments," he said.

To promote domestic manufacturing in electronics, mobile, pharma and medical devices, the government is providing production-linked incentives, Pandey said.

"Stimulus is not a one-time affair; it's not that one size fits all. It's time-to-time interventions with apt measures," he added.

Also Read: 'Woman With Self-Respect Will Die If Raped': Kerala Congress Chief Makes Outrageous Remark, Apologises Later

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