Ahead of the Union Budget 2023, the Centre released the GST collection numbers for January 2023. The gross GST collection in the month of January 2023 stood at ₹1.55 lakh crore, which is the second-highest mop-up ever next only to the GST revenue collection in April 2022. The GST revenue collection in the current financial year up to January 2023 is 24% higher than the GST revenues during the same period last year.

It is for the third time in the current financial year that the GST collection has crossed ₹1.50 lakh crore mark. The finance ministry also said that during the month of December 2022, 8.3 crore e-way bills were generated, which is the highest so far, significantly higher than the 7.9 crore e-way bills generated in November 2022.

Of the entire GST collection, the finance ministry says the CGST revenue stood at ₹28,963 crore, while SGST and IGST collection stood at ₹36,730 crore and ₹79,599 crore, respectively. The IGST revenue also comprised ₹37,118 crore collected on the import of goods. The government also collected cess worth ₹10,630 crore, including ₹768 crore collected on the import of goods.

In January 2023, the government settled ₹38,507 crore to CGST and ₹32,624 crore to SGST from IGST as the regular settlement. The total revenue of the Centre and the states in January 2023, after the regular settlement, stands at ₹67,470 crore for CGST and ₹69,354 crore for the SGST, says the finance ministry.

The GST revenue in January 2023 from the import of goods was 29% higher and the domestic transaction (including import of services) was up 22% to the revenues from these sources for the same period last year.

"Over the last year, various efforts have been made to increase the tax base and improve compliance. The percentage of filing of GST returns (GSTR-3B) and of the statement of invoices (GSTR-1), till the end of the month, has improved significantly over years. The trend in return filing in the Oct-Dec quarter over the last few years is as shown in the graph below. In the quarter Oct-Dec 2022, total of 2.42 crore GST returns were filed till the end of next month as compared to 2.19 crore in the same quarter in the last year," the ministry says.

The government says structural reforms like the introduction of GST and the digitalisation of economic transactions have led to the greater formalisation of the economy and hence expanded the tax net. The Centre, in its latest Economic Survey 2022-2023 that was released on Tuesday, says the resilience in the fiscal performance of the Union government has been facilitated by the recovery in economic activity, buoyancy in revenues from direct taxes and GST, and realistic assumptions in the Budget.

"The Gross Tax Revenue registered a YoY growth of 15.5% from April to November 2022, driven by robust growth in the direct taxes and Goods and Services Tax (GST). The growth in direct taxes during the first eight months of the year was much higher than their corresponding longer-term averages. The GST has stabilised as a vital revenue source for central and state governments, with the gross GST collections increasing at 24.8% on YoY basis during April - December 2022," says the Economic Survey 2023.

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