After a gap of almost a year, the government may resume releasing monthly figures on indirect tax collections this month onwards. The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), working under the Ministry of Finance, is planning to release next week the excise, customs and service tax collection data for October.
Till last year, the government used to release indirect tax collections every month. However, it stopped releasing the monthly data in January this year. The last official data for monthly service tax collections in October 2008 and customs and central excise mop-up in November 2008 was released on December 16, 2008.
According to a finance ministry official, while the government had stopped releasing the data after indirect tax collections started falling due to the economic slowdown, resuming its release also coincides with the state of the economy, which has started showing signs of recovery.
Customs and excise duties, which grew 8.9 per cent and 1.2 per cent, respectively, in August 2008 just a month before the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the beginning of the global financial meltdown fell 0.8 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively, in November last year.
Customs and excise duties had fallen in October, too. Service tax collection, however, continued to remain buoyant till October, with 15.9 per cent growth during the month and a rise of 29.6 per cent up to October in 2008-09.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had told the economic editors conference this week that decline in indirect taxes remained an area of concern for the government.
The first official data on indirect tax collections this year has been given in the background document prepared by the government for the economic editors conference.
According to the note, customs duty collections at the end of August 2009 stood at Rs 31,155 crore, down from Rs 47,735 crore in the corresponding period last financial year. The excise duty kitty also fell to Rs 33,602 crore from Rs 45,079 crore last year, whereas service tax collections were marginally down to Rs 19,088 crore from Rs 19,349 crore.