India's indirect tax revenue collections on target

Indirect tax revenue collections stood at Rs61,284 crore at the end of September 2015, forming 50.6 per cent of the budget estimates for the financial year 2015-16. Tax collections during the six-month period, however increased by 32.6 per cent compared to Rs46,224 crore collected in April-September 2014-15.

Provisional figures released by the Central Board of Customs and Excise (CBEC) showed that central excise collections at the end of September 2015 stood at Rs22,489 crore, an increase of 68.4 per cent from Rs13,356 crore at end-September 2014. This is an achievement of 55 per cent of the budget target fixed for 2015-16.

Service tax collections increased from by 35.1 per cent and stood at Rs20,483 as of end-September 2015 compared with Rs15,158 crore at the end of September 2014. This is an achievement of 45.5 per cent of the budget target fixed for 2015-16.

Customs collections increased by a meagre 3.5 per cent to Rs18,312 crore as of end-September 2015, from Rs17,710 crore at the end of September 2014, due mainly to falling imports and overall trade. Customs collections during the six months, however, stood at 49.7 per cent of the budget target fixed for 2015-16.

The finance ministry is now exploring unconventional means to raise resources to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), finance minister Arun Jaitley said.

Addressing the meeting of G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors in Peru on Thursday,  Jaitley, welcomed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved by 2030. He alluded to the uncertainty surrounding recovery of the global economy and emphasized the need to explore unconventional means to raise resources to achieve the SDGs.

He elucidated the initiatives taken by India to overcome the challenges to the economy and elaborated the unique identity linked financial inclusion programme which has resulted in opening of 180 million new bank accounts enabling direct transfer of benefits under various government welfare schemes.

In addition, he explained India's initiative in launching the Mudra Bank to provide loans to micro and small enterprises, thus, facilitating self-employment and job creation.

India has stepped up public investments, particularly in infrastructure sector which offset slowdown in private investments.