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‘GST revenue at an all-time low’

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first_imgThe revenue from the Goods and Services Tax has slipped by over ₹2,500 crore — to a 19-month low in September — and is showing no signs of recovery due to a massive tax fraud and overall “flaws in the system”, indicated West Bengal Finance and Industry Minister Amit Mitra in a letter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Mr. Mitra wrote the letter on Monday.The GST revenue slipped from ₹94,442 crore in September 2018 to ₹91,916 crore in September, 2019 — a drop of ₹2,526 crore. Highlighting the drop, Mr. Mitra argued that this “probably is the first time that monthly collections have been at an all-time low”. This collection, Mr. Mitra noted, is “even lower than the collection for July 2017, which was ₹92,283 crore”.“Though it has picked up slightly in October with ₹95,380 crore, it is still 5.29% below the collection of October 2018 which was ₹1,00,710 crore,” Mr. Mitra said. He underscored that despite his repeated warnings about “GST fraud and the flaws in the system… no discussion was held on this issue in the last GST Council meeting”. In his two-page letter, Mr. Mitra pointed at the problem of fake input tax credit that manufacturers and in turn dealers are entitled to for paying input taxes. He indicated that a network of fake ITC was snowballing in the country and yet “we continue to work in silos”.“A few days ago, Odisha SGST authorities detected a fraud worth ₹138 crore”, while in September searches carried out “in 336 locations across 15 States detected fake ITC worth ₹740 crore”. One person in Mumbai with credit of ₹93 crore and another person in a case worth ₹127 crore were arrested since September, Mr. Mitra noted. “Each and every State and the Central GST authorities are continually detecting fake invoices and absentee registered tax payers,” he wrote.No task force Since fake ITC means a loss of tax as it is “not backed by transaction in goods or services in reality”, such leakages are contributing to the “falling revenue trend,” Mr. Mitra noted. He regretted that “no task force [was] set up” to deal with the fraud as suggested by him earlier.last_img read more