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STT collections till October dip 1.6% to Rs 3,722 crore
November, 05th 2008

With the volatility in the stock markets over the past one year, collections from securities transaction tax too, have slipped 1.6% to Rs 3,722 crore till October end 2008. The tax department had collected Rs 3,784 crore from the tax in the same period last fiscal.

The government hopes to collect Rs 9,000 crore from securities transaction tax in 2008-09, after a record collection from the tax last fiscal. With stock markets performing well and the BSE Sensex breaching the 20,000 point in 2007-08, the revenue department collected Rs 8,577 crore from the tax. Similarly in 2006-07, STT earned the Exchequer Rs 4,730 crore.

Analysts said the volume of transactions in stock markets has gone down substantially and so payments from STT are lower. If the volumes in the markets go down, evidently tax collections will also come down, Krishnamurthy Vijayan whole time director and chief executive officer JP Morgan pointed out.

Mahesh Purohit, director, Foundation for Public Economics and Policy Research said, Prices of securities have gone down by nearly 60% in the last two months, and so STT collections have been decreasing as well. Foreign institutional investors have been persistently pulling out funds and so valuations have come down, he added.

Overall direct tax collections are also beginning to face the impact of the slower pace of economic activities. While direct tax collections continue to record a healthy increase of nearly 30% till October 31, 2008 , the growth in collections has slowed down from the earlier pace of 40%. Overall impact of the downfall of the economy has resulted in lower advance tax payments by companies and an anticipated decline in salaries has led to lower tax being deducted at source. Resultant direct tax collections will come down, Purohit noted.

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