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Indirect tax collections record 16.8% increase in April-Nov
December, 14th 2011

The Centre's indirect tax collections continue to show a robust growth despite a big revenue sacrifice since late June this year due to significant duty reduction in crude and petroleum products.

Total indirect tax receipts have registered 16.8 per cent increase in April-November this year to Rs 2,52,544 crore (Rs 2,16,164 crore), official data released today by the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) showed.

This collection performance has come despite the Centre sacrificing revenues of close to Rs 4,000 crore (both excise and customs) a month since July on account of changes in duty structure for petroleum products, the CBEC Chairman, Mr S.K. Goyal, said here today.

Ideally all three taxes excise, customs and service tax should be taken together before coming to a view. I think the overall collection performance is good and we are hopeful of achieving the targets for 2011-12, Mr Goyal said.

This collection performance should be viewed against recent sluggishness in industrial sector, slowdown in the world economy and factors such as continued monetary tightening to fight inflation, say economy watchers.

Till end November this fiscal, the Centre's indirect tax collections accounted for 63.04 per cent of Budget estimate for 2011-12. Last fiscal, at the same stage, the collections accounted for 62.88 per cent, Mr Goyal said.

For the period April-November 2011, the customs duty collections grew about 15.2 per cent to Rs 1,00,062 crore (Rs 86,883 crore). Excise duty collections grew 9.3 per cent to Rs 94,441 crore (Rs 86,379 crore). Service tax collections have registered 35 per cent increase to Rs 58,041 crore (Rs 42,901 crore).

However, decline in excise duty collections in November 2011 is a matter of concern and an analysis of what led to this decline would be done in the coming days, Mr Goyal said. He also pointed out that excise collections are done on clearances and not on production.

There may be instances where inventory is just built up by companies so that they could realise better selling prices when demand goes up, he noted. Even in September 2011, there was a decline in excise duty collections.

The Centre is comfortably placed to achieve the revised indirect tax collection target of little over Rs 4 lakh crore, say senior Finance Ministry officials. Their optimism stems from the fact that December and March are usually months when there is a big jump in indirect tax collections.

Usually in December and March, we get at least 50 per cent more than the average monthly collections. If this trend were to continue this fiscal, achieving indirect tax collection target should be a comfortable task even after the revenue sacrifice on petroleum products, official sources said.

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