Goods and services tax (GST) collections hit a record monthly high of Rs 1.41 lakh crore in April, pointing to a recovering economy before the Covid pandemic exploded.
April GST collections, for transactions in the previous month, are 14% higher than the Rs 1.24 lakh crore collected in March, according to official data.
This is the seventh successive month collections have crossed Rs 1 lakh crore.
The improvement came despite the second wave of Covid-19 affecting several parts of the country and was indicative of the resilience of Indian businesses, the finance ministry said in a statement on Saturday.
“These are clear indicators of sustained economic recovery during this period,” the ministry said.
Experts said the collections could decline going ahead as the pandemic surge has led to closures in many states.
“The all-time high collections which relate to supplies made in March 2021 could now give way to muted collections in the coming months due to the lower economic activities in April,” said MS Mani, senior director at Deloitte India.
Maharashtra’s GST collection hits record high of Rs 22k crore in April.
Maharashtra collected a record Rs 22,012 crore worth of GST in April when the second wave of the pandemic escalated and the state went into lockdown-style restrictions. This is the highest GST collection in the state in a single month since the GST regime began in 2017.
The April 2021 collections were a steep 380% higher than April 2020 when the country was in lockdown. The collections were also 29% more than March this year.
Officials say typically GST receipts in April are the highest in the year since they reflect transactions made in March, which is the end of the financial year. “The impact of the lockdown-style curbs in Maharashtra will actually be seen in the May GST collections,” said a senior official. “Since March is the last month of the financial year, companies undertake stock clearance and this usually reflects in higher GST revenues in April,” said a senior officer.
In April 2018, the GST receipt was Rs 16,727 crore, while in April 2019, it was Rs 18,123 crore. “In that sense, the record-breaking receipts for April 2021 was on expected lines. GST collection for April has been growing by Rs 2,000 crore each year. Last year was an anomaly because of the national lockdown,” the officer said.