GST collection dropped to Rs 94,726 crore in December 2018, lower than Rs 97,637 crore collected in the previous month.
Compliance however improved during the month as the total number of sales returns or GSTR-3B filed in December stood at 72.44 lakh, as against 69.6 lakh filed in November.
The finance ministry in a statement said of the Rs 94,726 crore collected, Central GST (CGST) collection was Rs 16,442 crore, State GST (SGST) was Rs 22,459 crore, Integrated GST (IGST) was Rs 47,936 crore and Cess was Rs 7,888 crore.
The government has settled Rs 18,409 crore to CGST and Rs 14,793 crore to SGST from IGST as regular settlement, it said.
The total revenue earned by a central government and state governments after regular settlement in December was Rs 43,851 crore for CGST and Rs 46,252 crore for SGST, the ministry added.
The December revenue collections reflect the purchase and sales activities conducted in November.
In the nine months (April-December) of the current fiscal, the government has mopped up over Rs 8.71 lakh crore from Goods and Services Tax (GST). The 2018-19 budget had estimated annual GST collection at Rs 13.48 lakh crore, which means a monthly target of Rs 1.12 lakh crore.
The monthly average GST collection in last fiscal (July 2017 - March 2018) was Rs 89,885 crore.
The GST revenue could see some more pressure in the coming months as the GST Council has cut rates on 23 items effective January 1, 2019. With the recent round of rate cut, only 28 items are left in the highest tax slab of 28 percent.
The rate reduction would have an annual revenue implication of Rs 5,500 crore, which means that in the remaining three months of the current fiscal (January-March) the revenue loss would be about Rs 1,375 crore.
"It appears that the GST revenues are stabilising. During this year, we have had rates heading south, hence it would be difficult for revenue to head north immediately," Deloitte India Partner M S Mani said.
PwC National Indirect Tax Leader Pratik Jain said GST collections in the next couple of months would be on similar lines and there could be more enforcement and investigation cases.
"The government may want to have a more realistic estimate of GST collection for next year. When the new compliance framework comes in from next fiscal, the collections could improve again as there would be greater control over input credit claimed by businesses," Jain said.
GST collection stood at Rs 1.03 lakh crore in April, Rs 94,016 crore in May, Rs 95,610 crore in June, Rs 96,483 crore in July, Rs 93,960 crore in August, Rs 94,442 crore in September, Rs 1,00,710 crore in October and Rs 97,637 crore in November.
EY Tax Partner Abhishek Jain said the dip in GST revenue collection as compared to the last two months is a bit discouraging.
"This may deter the government from rationalising the tax rate of goods left in the 28 per cent category like cement, auto parts, etc in the short term, he added.
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