The good news continues to pour in. Giving credence to the governments optimistic projection that economic growth during the current fiscal could exceed 7.75 per cent, the corporate advance tax collection led by sectors like automobiles, consumer goods and metals during the first nine months of the current fiscal grew 20 per cent compared with the corresponding period last year.
Advance tax payment increased to Rs 1.13 lakh crore during the April-December period compared with Rs 0.94 lakh crore in the same period a year ago, the finance ministry said. Sources said the direct tax collections would exceed the budget estimate of Rs 3.70 lakh crore given the robust collection of advance tax.
Among the top companies, State Bank of India, till December 2009, paid an advance tax of Rs 4,695 crore, ONGC paid Rs 3,713 crore, LIC paid Rs 2,389 crore and SAIL paid Rs 2,263 crore.
Other companies that paid higher advance taxes include Bharti Airtel (Rs 856 crore), Maruti Udyog (Rs 757 crore) and Bajaj Auto (Rs 540 crore).
During the third quarter, October-December, the collections rose by 22.72 per cent to Rs 55,900 crore on back of strong advance payments from sectors like automobiles, consumer goods and metal firms. The highest advance tax payer in December quarter was ONGC at Rs 1,917 crore followed by SBI at Rs 1,795 crore.
The consumer goods sector also saw an improvement in advance tax collections. Hindustan Lever paid Rs 200 crore in the December quarter, up 29 per cent compared with last year, while Grasim Industries paid Rs 150 crore, up 100 per cent as against the previous year.
In the personal income tax segment, advance tax collections grew a mere 4 per cent to Rs 14,200 crore till December 19 this fiscal from Rs 13,600 crore during the corresponding period a year ago. However, advance tax collections in the December quarter dipped for private banks like ICICI (down 51.8 per cent at Rs 301 crore), Standard Chartered (down 7.26 per cent at Rs 400 crore) and HSBC Bank (down 56.25 per cent at Rs 175 crore).
Among power companies, state-owned NTPC paid Rs 1,078 crore during the December quarter, up 68 per cent from the last year, while Jindal Power paid an Rs 150 crore, up 114.29 per cent against the previous year.
In the consumer goods segment which has also improved, Hindustan Lever has paid Rs 200 crore, up 29 per cent compared to last year in the December quarter.