Goods and Service Tax collections in October stood at Rs 1,05,155 crore, going over Rs 1 lakh crore for the first time since February, the Union finance ministry on Sunday.

The total number of GSTR-3B returns filed till October 31 is Rs 80 lakh. Of the gross GST revenue, collated in the month of October 2020, Rs 19,193 crore is Central Goods and Services Tax, and Rs 5,411 crore is State Goods and Services Tax, and Rs 52,540 crore is Integrated Goods and Services Tax, and Cess is Rs 8,011 crore (including Rs 932 crore collected on import of goods).

Revenue for October is 10% higher than Rs 95,379 crore collected in October last year.

“The government has settled Rs 25,091 crore to CGST and Rs 19,427 crore to SGST from IGST as regular settlement,” a statement said. “The total revenue earned by Central government and the state governments after regular settlement in the month of October, 2020 is Rs 44,285 crore for CGST and Rs 44,839 crore for the SGST.”

During October, revenues from import of goods was 9% more and the revenues from domestic transaction (including import of services) are 11% higher than the revenues from these sources during the same month last year, the government statement added. “The growth in GST revenue as compared to that in months of July, August and September, 2020 of -14%, -8% and 5% respectively clearly shows the trajectory of recovery of the economy and, correspondingly, of the revenues,” it said.

On October 16, after a departure from its stance that state governments should undertake market borrowings to make up for the loss of revenue on account of the GST implementation, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman wrote a letter explaining the contours of the scheme.

A day before that, the finance ministry had resolved the impasse between the Centre and states by agreeing to borrow Rs 1.1 lakh crore under a special window to meet the GST compensation shortfall this year.

GST compensation

On August 27, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at the GST Council meeting had said that the crisis facing the states is an unforeseen “act of God”, referring to the coronavirus pandemic. The Centre offered two options for borrowing by states to meet the shortfall. The first option was to provide a special borrowing window to states, in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India, to provide Rs 97,000 crore at a reasonable interest rate. The other option was to meet the entire GST compensation gap of Rs 2.35 lakh crore this year itself after consulting the central bank.

Only 21 of the 36 states and Union Territories had agreed to borrow. Opposition-ruled states had said that the Centre must borrow instead of its push for the states to do so.

A GST Council meeting with finance ministers of states was held on October 12. It was the second one in a week and the third overall to resolve the standoff between Opposition-ruled states and the government. However, the GST Council meeting failed to reach an agreement with states and Union Territories on the borrowing options made available. Sitharaman had then said that the Centre cannot afford to borrow at present.