Government deferred release of April GST collection data

NEW DELHI: The government deferred the release of April's GST revenue collection data on Friday, as the ongoing closure and extended filing deadline led to a decrease in cleanup during the month, the sources.

In March, the government extended the deadline for filing GST statements for entities with a turnover of more than Rs 5 crore in 15 days from the due date without paying any surcharges, interest and penalties. However, a reduced interest rate of 9% will apply if the return is filed after May 5 through June 30.

For the business transaction in March, the GST statement was due by April 20, which lasted until May 5.

Under the convention, the government publishes the GST revenue collection number based on cash collection in a particular month. However, with the situation arising from COVID-19, the government decided to wait until the extended deadline to present the statement before the release of the collection figure, a source said.

The sources said that due to the unprecedented situation that emerged from the coronavirus outbreak, it was decided to defer the April data release. A date to publish this data has not yet been decided, they said.

The government expects more statements to be submitted and will wait until May 5 before announcing the collection data, a source said, adding that a decision will also be made on the extension of this date.

Companies with a turnover above Rs 5 crore must submit the GST statement for a particular month before the 20th of the following month.

In the 2019-20 fiscal period, the GST collection remained above the key mark of Rs 1 lakh crore for 7 12 months. The collection was Rs 97,597 crore in March.

According to another source, the low collection figure so far for April could have been the reason for the postponement of the publication of GST data on Friday. The national blockade to contain the spread of the COVID-19 disease was imposed on March 25.

Data released by the government on Thursday showed that output from eight core sectors contracted 6.5 percent in March.

The actual impact of the blockade on GST revenue will be reflected in revenue collection in May (for business activity in April) as the country was in a total blockade last month with only essential services allowed.

Experts said the GST sweep in May would come mainly from sectors such as telecommunications, consumer goods, food processing and pharmacy.