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 Indirect Tax collections up

Indirect taxes to increase further this year
July, 13th 2008

The Government's indirect taxes collection is likely to swell further this year on account of good collection in Customs and Service taxes, a top government official said.

"Indirect taxes collection in the first three months of the year has been very good, both on account of customs and service tax. Based on the trends, we expect the remaining part of the year to fetch us an equally good revenue," CBCE Chairman, P C Jha, said here on Sunday.

The runaway double-digit inflation notwithstanding, India's growth story will continue as long as foreign capital flowed-in but policy makers cannot be lax in taking measures to contain prices, a senior banker said.

"As long as investments happen in India, the economy will continue to perform...every measures have to be taken by the authorities to contain inflation," State-run, Bank of India's Chairman and Managing Director, T S Narayanasami, told the bank's Annual General Meeting.

The inflationary pressures, primarily an outcome of the record crude oil and commodity prices, had forced the Reserve Bank to effect a series of hikes in its key-rates in the recent weeks.

The apex bank hiked its short-term repo rate at which it lends to banks and Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR), the percentage of money that banks are mandated to keep with the central bank.

Following the hike, the CRR and repo rate presently stands at 8.75 per cent and 8.5 per cent respectively.

Many lenders had hiked the lending rates in order to protect their falling margins, mainly due to a slowing consumer demand for credit.

"Inflation is a global phenomena...the result of the global slowdown may marginally impact India's growth rate in the current year as compared to past few years...," Narayanasami, who is also the Chairman of Indian Banks Association, said.

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