The Ministry of Finance on Monday said the Goods and Service Tax collection in March rose to Rs 1,06,577 crore from Rs 97,247 crore in February.

This is the highest collection since the indirect tax regime was rolled out on July 1, 2017. The ministry said the GST revenue in March grew 15.6% compared to the same month in 2018, when Rs 92,167 crore was collected.

However, it is still short of the Union government’s target for this fiscal, reported PTI. The Centre had an estimated the GST collections to be Rs 5.03 lakh crore for 2018-’19 but the final numbers showed gross central GST at Rs 4.25 lakh crore. There is a deficit of Rs 78,000.

Of the total collection, the ministry said Rs 20,353 crore was collected as Central GST, Rs 27,520 crore as State GST and Rs 50,418 crore as Integrated GST, including Rs 23,521 crore collected on imports. “Total number of GSTR 3B Returns filed for the month of February up to March 31 is 75.95 lakh,” the ministry said.

The monthly average of GST revenue during 2018-’19 is Rs 98,114 crore which is 9.2% higher than the last financial year. “These figures indicate that the revenue growth has been picking up in recent months, despite various rate rationalisation measures,” said the ministry.