Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Friday, Feb 15, 2002
Industry & Economy
Customs collections dip 14% in April-January
NEW DELHI, Feb. 14
THE Centre's fiscal deficit continues to be under pressure, following the dismal performance on the revenue collection front till the end of January this year.
Indirect collections dropped by three per cent to touch Rs 89,288 crore during April to January this year as against Rs 92,312 crore in the corresponding period the previous year, mainly due to the steep fall in customs revenue.
According to official estimates, customs collections stood at around Rs 33,283 crore as compared to Rs 38,887 crore during April to January 2000, marking a 14.4 per cent decline.
The drop has been attributed to the fall in international crude prices. The Government has budgeted a realisation of Rs 54,822 crore from customs during the current fiscal.
Official trade data for April to December 2001 indicated a 14.64 decline in petro-product imports in dollar terms over the same period in the previous year.
Non-POL imports, however, stood 7.5 per cent higher during April to December 2001.
The growth in excise collections has been modest, given that the manufacturing sector grew by a mere 1.6 per cent during April to December 2000.
Revenues from excise stood at Rs 56,005 crore till January 2002 as compared to Rs 53,424 crore in the same period the previous year, registering a 4.83 per cent growth.
A commodity-wise break-up indicates a drop in excise revenues from motor vehicles, whose duties were reduced this year.
Excise duty on cars was reduced from 40 per cent to 32 per cent (inclusive of special excise duty) and on scooters and motorcycles from 24 per cent to 16 per cent.
"Although the excise duty rates were slashed, revenues have not been buoyant since there has not been a substantial jump in the sales volume in this segment," said officials. Collections from petro products, however, stood higher than last year.
A month-wise break-up indicates that excise collections stood at Rs 6,776 crore during January this year as compared to Rs 5,769 crore in January, last year.
Going by the current trends, the Revenue Department expects a 10 per cent growth in excise collections over the actual collections of Rs 68,242 crore during 2000-01. This is, however, way below the budgeted excise collections of Rs 81,720 crore.
Direct tax collections also continued to be marginally lower than Rs 46,000 crore realised during April to December 2000 due to lower corporate tax (CT) collections.
The realisation from corporate tax stood at around Rs 23,000 crore as compared to Rs 24,000 crore in the same period last year.
Income-tax collections, however, stood Rs 1,000 crore higher at Rs 23,000 crore.
The fiscal is expected to end with an Rs 25,000 crore to Rs 30,000 crore shortfall in the budgeted tax collections.
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