The government collected two-thirds of it annual target of direct tax in the first nine months of the 2017-’18 financial year. The Central Board of Direct Taxes on Tuesday said the tax collection in these months rose by more than 18%.

The data was disclosed even as the government struggles to rein in the fiscal deficit.

The net direct tax collections from April to December increased 18.2% to Rs 6.56 lakh crore. It represents 67% of the budgeted direct tax collection of Rs 9.8 lakh crore. Personal advance income tax collections rose 21.6%, and corporate advance tax collections grew by 10.9%, the tax authority said.

The government may struggle to meet the fiscal deficit target of 3.2% of the Gross Domestic Product as the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax has led to a shortfall of revenue, making the government borrow Rs 50,000 crore in December 2017 to fund spending in the vital sectors of the economy, Mint reported.