The first month of Goods and Services Tax (GST) collection by the Delhi government brought in over Rs 1,000 crore, but officials say it will take months before the impact of the new tax regime can be understood.
The Delhi Department of Trade and Taxes collected Rs1,048 crore as State GST (SGST) in August for the month of July. As per data, it also received Rs336 crore as its share of Integrated GST (IGST), which is applied on inter-State transactions and on import.
Delhi also collected Rs801 crore in Value Added Tax (VAT) for July as petrol and diesel remain out of the ambit of the GST.
For the last month under the VAT regime — June — the department collected Rs2,183 crore in July. However, officials said this number was abnormal as traders were in a hurry to exhaust stock before the roll-out of the GST.
‘Wait till December’
In June and July 2016, the department had collected Rs1,825 crore and Rs1,644 crore respectively as VAT. Apart from that, the department also collected entertainment tax, luxury tax and other taxes that have been done away with in the GST regime.
Officials said a comparison with collections of previous months or even last year will not give the true picture of the impact of GST on Delhi’s tax revenue.
A senior government official said it would take until December for the real impact to be assessed.
“For traders, the first month of filing GST returns has been a “nightmare” due to problems with the online filing portal,” said Praveen Khandelwal, secretary-general of the Confederation of All-India Traders.
“At the time of filing returns, the portal would hang or other errors would occur. On the other hand, despite not knowing too much about GST and its compliance obligations, traders did well as far as transactions are concerned,” he said, adding that an awareness programme was the need of the hour.
Source :  The Hindu