While mop-up in May, based on transactions in the previous month, was 16% lower than the record collections of a little under Rs 1.7 lakh crore in April, the government said that the first month typically generates lower revenue. This may have to do with companies pushing sales in March to meet their targets before the end of the financial year.
One of the reasons for a higher growth in May could be the disruption in sales during the first quarter of 2021-22 due to the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This is only the fourth time the monthly GST collection crossed ₹1.4 lakh crore mark since inception of GST and third month at a stretch since March 2022,” an official statement said.
It also said that compared to March 2022, the number of e-way bills generated in April fell 4% to 7.4 crore, pointing to lower shipment goods on a sequential basis.
“The stability demonstrated by GST collections exceeding Rs1.4 lakh crore over the past three months is a good indicator of the growth of the economy and ties in with the other macro-economic indicators including the GDP numbers. Significant efforts in audits and analytics have also led to a drive against tax evaders, inculcating a tax compliance culture,” said MS Mani, a partner at consulting firm Deloitte India.
Going forward too, collections are expected to remain robust, experts said. “Given the trends for April-May 2022, and the anticipation of a sustained healthy momentum of activity in absence of another wave of Covid and major disruptions, we expect the CGST inflows in FY2023 to exceed the budget estimate level by Rs 1.15 lakh crore , helping to absorb a part of the higher subsidy bill,” said Aditi Nayar, chief economist at ICRA.
Smaller states, such as Arunachal, Manipur and Goa and Union Territories such as J&K, Ladakh, clocked high growth with most of them reporting more than doubling of state GST collections during May. Sikkim, Jharkhand and Odisha were among the states that reported a slower pace of expansion.