Finance Secretary Dr Ajay Bhushan Pandey on Sunday stated that Goods and Services Tax (GST) collection for the month of December shows that the economy is on fast track recovery and the country is witnessing a positive growth.
The Finance Ministry had earlier apprised that the gross GST revenue collected in the month of December 2020 is Rs 1,15,174 crore and is the highest since the introduction of Goods and Services Tax from July 1, 2017. Speaking on the development, Pandey attributed the development to economic recovery and better compliance following the crackdown on malpractices.
“The economy is on a faster recovery path as we are witnessing positive growth in the economy. We have better compliance besides having started a nationwide drive against GST evaders to minimize the misuse of the system, kept a check on those persons who were claiming excess Input Tax Credit (ITC),” he said highlighting the reasons behind all-time record high GST collection.
“We got to know that there are a lot of people who are showing income of few lakhs in their income tax returns but in GST they are showing turnovers in crore. We are also getting information that some unscrupulous persons are importing items worth crores of rupees but they are not reflected in their GST or income tax returns. Now, we are acting on these tax evaders on specific data-based information with a targeted approach,” he stated.
“So far, investigating agencies have booked about 2,000 cases against 7,000 fake entities. The majority of the arrested persons have not been able to get bails because of the seriousness of their tax frauds,” he said.
Talking about the direct taxes, Pandey said that ‘Vivad Se Vishwas Scheme’ of Income-tax has received an encouraging response lately.
“Out of 5.10 lakh tax dispute cases pending in various courts and tribunals of the country around 20 per cent of them – almost 96,000 – have opted in for Vivad Se Vishwas Scheme which was announced on March 15, 2020. For taxpayers’ convenience, we have extended the date to settle the dispute cases to January 31. By March 2021 they are to pay and settle their case. In this 96,000 cases total disputed amount of tax involved is Rs 83,000 crore,” he added.
The gross GST revenue collected in the month of December 2020 was Rs 1,15,174 crore, 12 per cent higher than over Rs 1.03 lakh crore collected in December 2019. GST collections, which directly reflects the state of economic activity, had plummeted to a record low of Rs 32,172 crore in April after the government imposed a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus. Subsequent easing of lockdown restrictions helped collections rise and it posted its first year-on-year growth in September 2020.
(With inputs from Agencies)