Indirect tax collection, a reflection of production and trade activities in the country, continues to show dismal performance.
In October, indirect tax collection comprising customs duty, excise duty and service tax, grew 7.4 per cent at Rs 41,570 crore compared to Rs 38,712 crore during the same period of the last fiscal. The most worrying is the excise duty collection, which remained almost flat at 0.8 per cent during the month at Rs 14,255 crore against Rs 14,147 crore in the same month of the last fiscal.
Overall, indirect tax collection during April-October was up 5.3 per cent at Rs 2,69,789 crore as against Rs 2,56,125 crore during the same period a year ago.
Collection of excise duty, which is levied on the production of goods, indicates that the index of industrial production (IIP), the factory output of the country, is likely to disappoint again. IIP for September, released on Tuesday, showed a growth of only 2 per cent despite a robust 8 per cent growth in the core sector, which has a weight of around 38 per cent in IIP.
For the period of April-October, excise duty collection grew 4.7 per cent at Rs 89,647 crore. The Centre has set indirect tax collection target of Rs 5.65 lakh crore for 2013-14, up from Rs 4.73 lakh crore in the last fiscal.
However, given the current trends, officials in the finance ministry are of the opinion that meeting the targets would be an arduous task.