Goods and Service Tax collections in November stood at Rs 1.04 lakh crore compared to Rs 1.05 lakh crore in the previous month, the Union finance ministry on Tuesday. This is the second straight month in the current fiscal year when the GST revenue has topped Rs 1 lakh crore.

The revenue for the month of November is 1.4% higher than the Rs 1,03,491 crore collected in the same month last year, the government said.

The total number of GSTR-3B returns filed till November 30 is Rs 82 lakh. Of the gross GST revenue, collated in the month of November, Rs 19,189 crore is Central Goods and Services Tax, Rs 25,540 crore is State Goods and Services Tax, and Rs 51,992 crore is Integrated Goods and Services Tax. The Cess is Rs 8,242 crore (including Rs 809 crore collected on import of goods).

The revenues from import of goods is 4.9% higher and the revenues from domestic transaction (including import of services) are 0.5% higher that the revenue collected from these sources in November last year.

“The government has settled Rs 22,293 crore to CGST and Rs 16,286 crore to SGST from IGST as regular settlement,” the finance ministry said. “The total revenue earned by Central Government and the State Governments after regular settlement in the month of November 2020 is Rs 41,482 crore for CGST and Rs 41,826 crore for the SGST.

GST revenue had topped Rs 1 lakh crore in eight months during the financial year of 2019-’20, according to PTI. But the revenue in the current fiscal has been severely impacted by the lockdown imposed to contain the coronavirus, and the resulting economic slowdown.

GST compensation

On August 27, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at the GST Council meeting had referred to the coronavirus crisis an unforeseen “act of God”, referring to the coronavirus pandemic, as the government offered two options for borrowing by states to meet the revenue 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 undertake market borrowings to make up for the loss of revenue on account of the GST implementation, instead of making the states 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.

However, on October 16, the finance ministry 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. A day later, Sitharaman wrote a letter explaining the contours of the scheme.