NEW DELHI: The Indian government said it has overshot its tax collection target during the last financial year, mopping up Rs1.71 lakh crore, against the revised estimate of Rs16.98 lakh crore.
The Rs13,000 crore cushion comes along with a Rs700 crore buffer from disinvestment receipts, which too went past the revised budget estimate. But unlike disinvestment, where the collections were short of the initial target, tax collections managed to scale the bar due to robust excise duty and service tax collections.
In fact, the “excess” was largely on account of a higher indirect tax kitty as both service and customs duty, which was sluggish until January, fared well during the last two months of the financial year.
Sources said that direct tax collections are higher than the revised estimate based on initial numbers that were available with the finance ministry. This was despite robust refunds through the year as the government got down to ensuring better service to taxpayers. Net of refunds, direct tax collections rose 14.2% to Rs8.47 lakh crore, thanks to an over 21% increase in net income tax collections. Corporate tax collections remained sluggish with a growth of 6.7%.
On indirect taxes, the increase was led by excise collections, which went up almost Rs 34% to Rs3.83 lakh crore, while service tax mopup was higher by over 20%.
Higher excise on oil products as well as an increase in the excise levy on some products in the 2016 Budget is seen as the key reason for the robust rise in excise.