New Delhi– After falling for two consecutive months, revenue collections under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) picked up and touched Rs 86,703 crore in December compared to Rs 80,808 crore in November.

“Total revenue collections under GST for the month of December 2017 (received up to January 24) has been Rs 86,703 crore,” the Finance Ministry said.

Before picking up in December, the revenue collection fell for two consecutive months from over Rs 92,000 crore in September to Rs 83,346 crore in October and Rs 80,808 crore in November.

The GST collection for the month of July was over Rs 95,000 crore while for August, it was more than Rs 91,000 crore.

While the downward trend in GST collection started from October, the November figure may have been impacted by the major revamp of the GST tax structure brought in during the November 10 Guwahati meeting. In that meeting, the GST Council decided to slash tax slabs of 178 items from 28 per cent to 18 per cent while also reducing tax on several items in other slabs from mid-November ahead of the Gujarat elections.

At its January 18 meeting, the GST Council further slashed the GST rate on 54 services and 29 items with the new rates to come to force from Thursday. This may have some impact on the January and February collections.

However, to ensure compliance so that revenue collections pick up, the government has also made inter-state e-way bill mandatory from February 1. Fifteen states have said that they will also start intra-state e-way bills from February 1.

The government said that one crore taxpayers have been registered under GST so far till January 24, out of which 17.11 lakh are composition dealers which are required to file returns every quarter.

“56.30 lakh GSTR-3B returns have been filed for the month of December till January 24,” it said.

For the composition dealers, for the July-September quarter, the last date of filing GSTR-4 return was December 24.

“A total of 8.10 lakh returns were filed by composition dealers paying a total of Rs 335.86 crores as GST.”

For the October-December quarter, the last date for filing returns was January 18.

“A total of 9.25 lakh returns were filed by composition dealers for this quarter paying a sum of Rs 421.35 crore as GST,” it said. (IANS)