GST shortfall

As the tax collections remain below target, it may be time to recalibrate expectations

Revenue(आय/लाभांश) collections from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) are going too far(दूर) off the mark for comfort(आराम/सुविधा. Inflows declined(गिरावट) for the second consecutive (लगातार/अनुगामी ) month in December to ₹94,726 crore from ₹97,637 crore in November and ₹1,00,710 crore in the month before. Between April and December, GST collections have averaged about ₹96,800 crore, and have not even once met the monthly target of ₹1,06,300 crore, going by the Union Budget math for 2018-19. Now in order to achieve(प्राप्त करने ) the year-end target, GST collections over the next three months will have to reach an average of ₹1,34,900 crore. But given the spate(स्थान) of tax rate cuts announced by the GST Council in December that kick in this month and Prime Minister Narendra Modi hinting at further(आगे ) rationalisation(युक्तिकरण) of rates for construction(निर्माण) materials(सामग्री ) soon, the pressure on revenues is likely to persist(बने रहने/क़ायम रहना). Separately(अलग से), as the government looks to woo traders and small businesses back to its electoral fold, the Council is considering(ध्यान में रखते हुए/विचार से) a relaxation(रियायत/छूट) in the GST norms for micro, small and medium enterprises byraising(बढ़ाकर ) the annual sales threshold for compulsory(अनिवार्य) GST registration from ₹20 lakh to over ₹50 lakh. Such a relaxation, along with regulatory steps like greater forbearance(धैर्य/संयम) for small business loans, will boost sentiment among such firms, but it will further dent the tax kitty. Other revenue heads, including direct tax or disinvestment(लगाया गया पैसा वापस लेना/विनिवेश) receipts(प्राप्तियों/रसीद) (even via innovatively structured intra-public-sector deals), are unlikely to be adequate to plug the GST shortfall.

This poses a challenge for the Centre at a time when it would have been hoping to announce some populist measures( उपाय)ahead of elections, while retaining(बरकरार रखते हुए) its macro-economic management credentials. States’ revenue collections under the GST regime(शासन) have been uneven and a GST Council panel is examining inter-State variations(परिवर्तन). But the Centre is bound to compensate States for revenue shortfalls for the first five years of the GST regime. Unless the Centre decides to drop its fiscal(वित्तीय/राजकोषीय) deficit(घाटे) goals, a squeeze(निचोड़/दबाव) on spending(खर्च करने), including planned capital(मुख्य/पूंजीगत) expenditure(खर्च/लागत), may be the only option. There is a more problematic(समस्यात्मक) aspect(पहलू/स्वरूप) to the dip in GST collections, based on economic activity and compliance(अनुपालन/स्वीकृति) trends(रुझान/प्रवृत्तियों) in November. The total number of returns filed that month hit a high of 72 lakh from 55 lakh at the beginning of the fiscal, yet revenues fell. November also marked the onset of India’s festive season, with a late Deepavali. Yet, the higher compliance and the festive fervour translated into collections lower than the average monthly receipts for the year till date. Though India’s growth fell to 7.1% in the second quarter of this fiscal, an uptick in private investment over the same period wasconsidered(विचार करना/मानना) a sign of revival(पुनरजीवन). But if consumers are not confident enough to spend, a consumption-led investment revival to take the economy to an 8% growth path seems elusive again.

Important Vocabulary

1. Revenue(आय/लाभांश)
Synonyms: credit, dividend, earnings, fund, gain
Antonyms: debt, loss, payment

2. Consecutive (लगातार/अनुगामी )
Synonyms: ensuing, successive, after, chronological, connected
Antonyms: broken, discontinuous,infrequent, intermittent, interrupted

3. Comfort(आराम/सुविधा
Synonyms: amenity, contentment, convenience, enjoyment, happiness
Antonyms: discontent, displeasure, dissatisfaction, gloom, inconvenience

4. Consecutive (लगातार/अनुगामी )
Synonyms: ensuing, successive, after, chronological, connected
Antonyms: broken, discontinuous, infrequent, intermittent, interrupted

5. Relaxation(रियायत/छूट)
Synonyms: enjoyment, leisure, loosening, mitigation, pleasure
Antonyms: pain, sorrow, unhappiness, work, intensification

6. Separately(अलग से),
Synonyms: independently, personally, solely, severally, singly
Antonyms: together

7. Achieve(प्राप्त करने )
Synonyms: accomplish, attain, bring about, carry out, complete
Antonyms: abandon, begin, commence, depart, destroy

8. Persist(बने रहने/क़ायम रहना).
Synonyms: continue, endure, go on, linger, persevere
Antonyms: cease, discontinue, give up, go, halt

9. Forbearance(धैर्य/संयम)
Synonyms: fortitude, self-control, abstinence, endurance, longanimity
Antonyms: agitation, excess, impatience, indulgence, intemperance

10. Retaining(बरकरार रखते हुए)
Synonyms: accommodating, arresting, cherishing, commemorating, confining

11. Variations(परिवर्तन).
Synonyms: abnormality, alteration, change, deviation, discrepancy
Antonyms: agreement, harmony, sameness, similarity, stagnation

12. Measures( उपाय)
Synonyms: part, quota, allotment, allowance, amount
Antonyms: extreme, unimportance, whole, ignorance, inaction

13. Squeeze(निचोड़/दबाव)
Synonyms: congestion, crunch, restraint, clasp, clutch, crowd
Antonyms: powerlessness, release, weakness, opening

14. Considered(विचार करना/मानना)
Synonyms: studied, treated, advised, contemplated, designed
Antonyms: disregarded, forgotten, neglected, unplanned, unstudied

15. Revival(पुनरजीवन).
Synonyms: recovery, rejuvenation, renaissance, renewal, restoration
Antonyms: destruction, killing, suppression

Synonyms: attitude, condition, facet, form, air
Antonyms: whole

17. Revival(पुनरजीवन)
Synonyms: recovery, rejuvenation, renaissance, renewal, restoration
Antonyms: destruction, killing, suppression


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