"The decline is primarily because April was a month of complete lockdown and only essential services were working during this month," sources told CNBC TV-18.
As business activities came to a virtual standstill mode during the month of April owing to the COVID-19 pandemic-led lockdown, the goods and services tax collections have shown a clear reflection of the same. According to sources, the GST collections for the month of April, recorded in May, stood at approximately Rs 43,000 crore.
"The GST collections for April, recorded in May and till June 4, 9 am, stand at around Rs 43,000 crore. The GST filing period, due to pandemic hardships have been extended by 15 days, so actual collections will be recorded till June 5. However, the decline is primarily because April was a month of complete lockdown and only essential services were working during this month," sources told CNBC TV-18.
GST collections for business activities in April 2019, as recorded in May 2019, were at Rs 1,00,289 crore.
April 2020 figures, when compared to those for March 2020, have also seen a decline. GST collections in March 2020, recorded till May 5, stood at Rs 61,543 crore.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
When asked how the trends were looking between the Centre's GST collections and the collections made by states, sources shared that "states fared better and have seen a slight recovery in collections when compared to the Central GST collections."
Meanwhile, states are still struggling as revenue shortfall is the biggest challenge they are facing today.
Facing a double whammy of poor GST revenue and rising expenditure, many states are keenly waiting for the North Block to clear their pending dues, sources added.
"Revenue decline, which is ranging between 60 percent to 85 percent across India for the months of April and May, on a yearly comparison is making it tough for states to survive," government officials said.
When contacted by CNBC TV-18, many state finance ministers and revenue officials shared that the "revenues declined mostly because of a dip in the GST collections, for Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh is 60 percent, Maharashtra has recorded a dip of 61 percent, Haryana has seen a decline of 63 percent when collections are compared during the same period last year.
Highest among the states whom CNBCTV-18 approached is of Delhi, a decline of 85 percent for the months of April and May, Assam saw a decline of 65 percent, Kerala at 73 percent dip and Gujarat also saw a decline of 65 percent in the revenue collections."
The government, on the other hand, has not officially released the GST collections data post, March 2020, which were for the business activities in February.
The gross GST revenue collected in the month of March 2020 (for business activities in February) was at Rs 97,597 crore. Of this, CGST was Rs 19,183 crore, SGST was Rs 25,601 crore, IGST was Rs 44,508 crore (including Rs 18,056 crore collected on imports) and cess was Rs 8,306 crore (including Rs 841 crore collected on imports).
The total number of GSTR-3B Returns filed for the month of February up to March 31, 2020 is 76.5 lakh.Source: CNBC TV-18