There is some reason for the government to cheer as its corporate advance tax collections have exceeded 20% growth in the first nine months of this fiscal. The direct tax mop-up from top 100 corporates have registered a handsome 30% rise over the same period last year.
A senior official of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said the finance ministry was hopeful of net direct tax collections growing at least by 20% with even a possibility of exceeding the overall collection target of Rs 3.7 lakh crore as estimated in the Budget.
Automobiles, consumer goods and metals have lead the pack of industries which paid highest taxes in the third quarter. Advance tax payments by industries increased to Rs 1.13 lakh crore from Rs 0.94 lakh crore during the corresponding period last fiscal, sources said.
Among the major companies, SBI till December paid an advance tax of Rs 4,695 crore compared to Rs 3,923 crore last year in the same period; ONGC Rs 3,713 crore against Rs 4,123 crore and Reliance Industries Ltd Rs 2,305 crore against Rs 1,475 crore. Other top payers include SAIL (Rs 2,263 crore), Maruti Udyog (Rs 757 crore) and Bajaj Auto (Rs 540 crore).
In its mid-year economic review presented before Parliament on Friday, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee had expressed optimism of meeting budget estimate of revenue receipts of Rs 6,14,497 despite slow growth in direct tax collection and a negative trend in indirect taxes.
In the budget estimates (BE) for 2009-10, the government had set a target of 12.8% growth over the 2008-09 collection. During April-September 2009, revenue receipts (both direct and indirect taxes) were placed at 39.8% of BE compared to 40.6% of BE in the previous year.
"In absolute terms, they are marginally lower than last year. Further, five-year moving average of revenue receipts (April-Sept) as a proportion of BE is 38.1% indicating that the revenue performance is more or less on par," the mid-year review had claimed.
Gross tax revenue collections had, in fact, declined from Rs 2.80 lakh crore in April-Sept 2008 to Rs 2.58 lakh crore in April-Sept 2009. The decline was 7.6% year-on-year basis.