Full budget to look at any change in customs duty, Rs 1.83 lakh crore average GST collection aimed next fiscal: Revenue Secy
New Delhi : Emphasising “certainty and stability” in the tax structure, Revenue Secretary Sanjay Malhotra has said that any change in customs duty can be looked at in the full budget to be presented after the Lok Sabha polls and that the government is aiming Rs 1.83 lakh crore GST collection per month next fiscal.
In an exclusive interview with ANI, the Revenue Secretary said that the interim budget will help improve taxpayer services and the government is working towards simplification of the tax structure.
He said any changes in customs duties will be aimed at promoting GDP growth and nurturing domestic industry.
“Wherever there is a need, especially for indirect taxes and customs, we do a review every year during the budget, but this was an interim budget, so we did not review. Wherever there is a review, wherever there is a requirement to change the customs duties for promoting the growth of our economy and nurturing our industry, especially sunrise industries, we will take a look during the regular budget,” he said.
Malhotra said that the government does not want to change the tax rate frequently.
“We will continue to work on the simplification agenda, simplification and rationalisation, whether it is for direct taxes or indirect taxes,” he said.
In her speech, while presenting the interim budget in Parliament earlier this week, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government has taken several steps in customs to facilitate international trade.
She said the import release time declined by 47 per cent to 71 hours at inland container depots, by 28 per cent to 44 hours at air cargo complexes and by 27 per cent to 85 hours at seaports, over the last four years since 2019, when the National Time Release Studies were first started.
On the recent notification of reducing import duty on mobile components from 15 per cent to 10 per cent, Malhotra said the effort is to move towards simplification.
“Whether you keep 10 per cent or 15 per cent, I do not think that would have made much of a difference. The difference that we have made is towards simplification, towards having one rate so that there are no disputes and no energy, effort, time or money is lost.”
On the robust GST collection, Malhotra said that this year’s average monthly GST collection is 1.66 lakh crore per month.
“Next year, we are targeting an average 1.83 lakh crore GST collection per month. We are very confident that over a very short period of time, we should be able to even hit Rs 2 lakh crore mark, if not on an average basis then at least in some months,” he added.
The Revenue Secretary said that the special focus on capital expenditure and fiscal prudence in the interim budget will enhance employment opportunities and give a boost to the economy and incomes, and highlighted that the budget aims to empower people.
“The budget focuses on prioritising good education, healthcare and skill training for the people so that they can contribute to the progress of the economy,” Malhotra added.
The interim budget, tabled by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament, will take care of the financial needs of the intervening period until a government is formed after the Lok Sabha polls. A full budget is likely to be presented by the new government in July.