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Customs, excise mop-up rises 10.5%, service tax yield up 25%
September, 13th 2008

Customs and excise collections rose an annual 10.5 per cent in the first five months of this fiscal (till August) to Rs 93,856 crore. Service tax collections rose 25 per cent till July to Rs 18,787 crore, a finance ministry statement said today.

The government has estimated that indirect tax collections will rise 15 per cent to Rs 321,264 crore in the current fiscal over last years collections. Of this, it expects Customs duties to contribute over 37 per cent, central excise nearly 43 per cent and service tax the remaining 20 per cent.

The provisional numbers show that excise collections have fallen sharply. On a monthly basis, August saw excise collections grow at a moderate pace of 1.2 per cent (3.7 per cent in the first five months), while the mop-up from Customs duties grew 8.9 per cent over the same month last year. Service tax collections rose 9.4 per cent over last July.

The continuing decline in the growth of excise collections has been a cause of worry for the government. Under directions from Finance Minister P Chidambaram, who has in the past expressed disappointment over excise collections, the revenue department has been trying to clamp down on evasion.

In 2007-08, overall indirect tax collections at the end of the year stood at Rs 279,316 crore, nearly the same as estimates at the beginning of the year.

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