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Too faint for comfort? on GST collection

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While the spurt in GST collections brings cheer, it must be sustained to be impactful
As the Central government struggles(संघर्ष) to contain its widening(वृद्धि/चौड़ा) fiscal(वित्तीय/राजकोषीय) deficit(घाटा/न्यूनता),there is some good news on the revenue(आय/राजस्व)front. Goods and services tax (GST) collections in the month of October crossed the ₹1 lakh crore mark, with total collections for the month standing at ₹1,00,710 crore. This momentum(गति/चाल),coming in the midst of a marginal(मामूली) increase(वृद्धि) in the total number of filings compared to September, is expected to be sustained(निरंतर/लगातार) in the coming months, supported by the festive(त्योहारी/मुदित) season that is under way. GST collections had crossed the comfort level of ₹1 lakh crore for the first time in April this year. The average GST revenue during 2017-18 was ₹89,885 crore. The reduction(छूट/छंटनी) in tax rates under GST in July seems to have helped improve(सुधार)compliance(अनुपालन) among small businesses, leading to an increase in overall tax collection. It also helps to reduce the distortionary(विकृत) effect of indirect taxes. The increase in GST collections comes at a time when the Centre has been unable to control its spending(खर्च/समय बिताना) in the run-up to the general election due by next summer. According to data released last week, the government’s fiscal deficit reached 95.3% of its budgeted estimate by the first half of the year. Direct tax collections too have increased over the past few years, reaching an all-time high of ₹10 lakh crore in 2017-18, helping to fund the deficit.

But all is not well on the revenue front. Tax revenues reached only 39.4% of the full-year target by the end of September. The festive season too has failed to meet expectations(उम्मीदों/अपेक्षा) as of now with many consumer-facing businesses reporting lacklustre(कम) sales(बिक्री). Car sales reported by major companies until now, for instance(उदाहरण/आग्रह), are flat. Various other economic indicators also have failed to impress in recent months. Core sector growth dropped to a four-month low in September. These growth-related factors(गुणक/कारण) will weigh negatively on tax collection in the coming months. Apart from the general macroeconomic environment, there are specific implementation(अमल/कार्यान्वयन) issues that plague the indirect tax system. The export sector, for example, has been affected by undue delays in GST refunds worth thousands of crores of rupees. The GST collection in October is also still significantly (महत्व के साथ/काफी)below the expectations of ₹1.10 lakh crore. So the current spurt may be simply owing to the festival season. It may also be too soon to say that GST collections are on a sustainable uptrend(तेजी को बल) simply based on the October collections. Collections during the first six months of the current fiscal year fell short of target by over ₹22,000 crore despite record collections in April. The government should continue the effort to make the GST more taxpayer-friendly, bringing(लाना) down the cost and hassle(परेशानी) of compliance, to achieve(हासिल करना/जीतना) a sustained rise in collections.

Important Vocabulary

Synonyms: attempt, battle, clash, combat, conflict
Antonyms: accord, agreement, calm, idleness, laziness

2. Marginal(मामूली)
Synonyms: insignificant, minimal, minor, negligible, bordering
Antonyms: important, major, significant, central, core

Synonyms: loss, shortfall, arrears, defalcation, default,
Antonyms: abundance, adequacy, advantage, enough, perfection

Synonyms: conformity, consent, acquiescence, amenability, assent
Antonyms: difference, disagreement, refusal, disobedience, rebellion

5. Distortion(विकृत)
Synonyms: bias, exaggeration, lie, misinterpretation, misrepresentation, misstatement
Antonyms: beauty, clarity, perfection

Synonyms: contraction, cut, cutback, devaluation, discount
Antonyms: increase, enlargement

Synonyms: assumption, chance, confidence, fear, forecast
Antonyms: disbelief, distrust, doubt, hopelessness, impossibility

7.Significantly (महत्व के साथ/काफी)
Synonyms: automatically, naturally, no doubt, undoubtedly, unquestionably
Antonyms: doubtfully, questionably, unnecessarily

Synonyms: bickering, commotion, difficulty, inconvenience, squabble
Antonyms: agreement, calm, calmness, peace, tranquility




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