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Factory slowdown, refunds narrow indirect tax mop-up
May, 15th 2014

The continuing contraction in the manufacturing sector, significant decline in imports and huge refunds slowed down the indirect tax collection during the first month of the current fiscal. Indirect tax collections recorded a growth of just 3.5 per cent year-on-year in April, an official source said. The total indirect tax receipts stood at Rs 34,174 crore.

“The moderation in growth has been on account of a sharp decline in oil and gold imports. Also, the refund has been higher year-on-year,” the official said.

During the month, excise duty mop-up was Rs 10,085 crore, a growth of just 12 per cent year-on-year due to high Cenvat credit and drawback refund.

What has also added to the moderation is the contraction in the industrial production. As reflected by the index of industrial production (IIP), which shrank 0.5 per cent in March, the manufacturing sector declined 0.8 per cent in FY14 as investments dried up due to high cost of credit and hurdles in project implementation.

During the last fiscal, the major contributors to the excise kitty included cigarettes, iron and steel, cars and other motor vehicles for transport, non-electrical machinery, and oil and motor spirits. These commodities comprised over 80 per cent of the total net collection of Rs 1,69,905 crore.

According to figures released in the Interim Budget document, the outgoing government has projected gross tax revenue to grow 19 per cent while growth in indirect tax receipts has been pegged at 18.8 per cent.

The officials in the revenue department say that the projection is too tall an order to meet given the current economic condition. The projection will be revised once the new government takes charge.

Further, the collection from custom duty stood at Rs 11,702 crore, a decline of 10.6 per cent year-on-year due to the decline in import of gold and petroleum products.
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In April, imports declined over 15 per cent with oil imports declining 0.6 per cent to stand at $12.97 billion. In FY14, the top 10 commodities that contributed to the customs duty collection included: electrical machinery, chemicals, iron and steel, plastics, motor vehicles and parts and rubber articles. These items collectively added to over 71 per cent of the customs duty proceeds.

Service tax collection in April stood at Rs 12,359 crore, up 13.4 per cent.
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