Indirect tax collections rise 5.6% in Apr-Oct

Indirect tax revenues rose marginally by 5.6 percent in the April-October period to over Rs 2.85 lakh crore, mainly on account of increase in service tax and customs collections. However, excise collection, which is an indication of economic activity, declined by 1.2 per cent during the seven month period to Rs 88,330 crore, an official statement said. Indirect tax collections so far this fiscal has been 45.7 percent of the budget target of full 2014-15. The government has budgeted to collect over Rs 6.24 lakh from indirect taxes in the current fiscal, up 20.28 percent over the collection in 2013-14. Service Tax collections increased 10.9 percent during the seven months ending October to Rs 90,673 crore. This amounts to 42 percent of the budget target. Mop up from customs rose 7.5 percent to over Rs 1.06 lakh crore in April-October. This is 52.6 percent of budget estimates. Economic growth, after remaining at sub-5 percent in last two fiscals, is estimated to be between 5.4-5.9 percent in 2014-15. During the April-August period of 2014-15, industrial output growth as measured by Index of Industrial Production (IIP) grew at 2.8 percent, as against flat production in same period of the previous fiscal. In the Budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had hiked excise duty on cigarettes in the range of 11 percent to 72 percent. The excise duty on pan masala was increased from 12 per cent to 16 percent, unmanufactured tobacco from 50 percent to 55 percent and gutkha and chewing tobacco from 0 percent to 70 percent. Jaitley has announced a host of measures, including hiking tax exemption limit, incentives for the housing sector and relief in indirect taxes on auto and other sectors to promote industrial output and boost growth.

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