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First collection numbers show GST off to a smooth start

GST Advance-Ruling

NEW DELHI: The first set of numbers after the rollout of the goods and services tax should calm any jitters about its prospects. Integrated goods and services tax (IGST) collections on imports in the first 10 days of the new regime crossed Rs 4,000 crore, in line with expectation and suggests that the rollout has been largely smooth.

“Collections would have crossed Rs 4,000 crore… Data is pouring in and final tabulations will be available in some time,” a senior government official told ET.

These collections exclude levies on petroleum and natural gas products, which aren’t covered by GST in any case. Besides, the final numbers will include collections from manual filings. GST came into effect July 1.

In July 2016, total customs collections amounted to Rs 16,625 crore, which on average yields Rs 5,360 crore for the 10 days, but that includes basic customs duty. The Rs 4,000 crore of IGST does not include customs duty.

“On the face of it, the pace of collections looks usual,” the official said. A detailed analysis will be carried out at the end of this month when more complete data will be available.

Collection of IGST on imports started at midnight on rollout day as the levy became payable soon after goods entered the country unless specifically exempted. IGST on imports has replaced countervailing duty (CVD), levied in lieu of excise duty, and special additional duty (SAD).

IGST is the sum of central GST and state GST levied on a local product and is in addition to the basic customs duty. It is administered by customs officials. CVD and SAD formed part of customs collections until now. The government has also done away with a number of CVD exemptions that were available in the previous regime, such as that on some electronic products.

GST replaces multiple state and central taxes such as central excise duty, service tax, CVD, value-added tax, octroi and purchase tax with a single levy to create a seamless national market in the country.

As many as 17 taxes and 23 cesses have been folded into one levy.

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