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Advance tax kitty shows eco upturn
December, 24th 2009

Advance direct tax payments received till December 15, 2009 reflect a bounce back in the economy supported by industrial growth spread across all sectors. Major corporates projecting profitability for the current fiscal (2009-10) belong to banking, telecom, power, information technology, auto, oil and consumer goods.

The top ten corporate entities that have shown highest percentage growth in payment of advance tax upto December include three from the banking sector -- Allahabad Bank, Canara Bank and Bank of Baroda -- besides Bharti Airtel, Jindal Power, Infosys, Bajaj Auto, Maruti Udyog, Indian Oil and Grasim Industries.

Allahabad Bank leads the pack, registering highest growth of 658% in its advance tax payment with an outgo of Rs 341 crore in April-December against Rs 45 crore in the same period last year. Bharti Airtel is second on the list, clocking 275% growth in tax payments with its contribution of Rs 856 crore during this period against Rs 229 crore in the corresponding period in 2008.

Jindal Power, IT giant Infosys and auto leaders Maruti Udyog Ltd and Bajaj Auto have all posted huge advance tax growth, ranging between 108% to 210%. Indian Oil was a surprise addition. It had paid no tax due to the losses it had suffered in the previous year. This year, however, upto December it has paid Rs 1,230 crore.

In fact, the highest advance tax payers in the nine months to December 2009 -- SBI (Rs 4,695 cr), ONGC (Rs 3,713 cr), LIC (Rs 2,389 cr), Reliance Industries (Rs 2,305 cr), SAIL (Rs 2,263 cr) and NTPC (Rs 1,996 cr) have been laggards with their growth percentage swinging between negative to 50% increase compared to April-Dec 2008.

While SBI registered growth of 20%, RIL had 56%, NTPC 39%, LIC 10% and the other two among the top six, ONGC and SAIL, had a negative increase in advance tax payment. The growth trend in taxes was supported by data coming from the Index for Industrial Production (IIP). Industrial output for October rose 10% compared to the previous year, suggesting overall growth in the economy.

Overall, corporate advance tax collections exceeded 20% growth in the first nine months of this fiscal. The tax mop-up from top 100 corporates registered a growth of 30%. A senior CBDT official said the finance ministry was hopeful of net direct collections growing at least by 20%.

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