PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
New Delhi, 21 July 
Indirect tax mop-up grew at a slower pace of 4.7 per cent in April-June quarter of the current fiscal, mainly on account of decline in excise duty collection, reflecting slump in manufacturing activity.
Indirect tax, which comprises excise, customs and service tax, collection in the first quarter stood at about Rs 1.11 lakh crore as against Rs 1.05 lakh crore in the corresponding period of the previous financial year, a finance ministry official said.
The indirect tax collection growth at 4.7 per cent in the first quarter is much less than 19 per cent increase envisaged in the Budget for the full 2013-14 fiscal.
Excise collection dropped 4.9 per cent during the quarter to over Rs 37,600 crore, a sign that manufacturing output is slowing.
Growth in industrial production has slowed to 0.1 per cent in the first two months of the fiscal beginning April, as against 0.6 per cent in the year-ago period.
Customs mop-up was up just 6.9 per cent to over Rs 40,800 crore during the quarter under review.
Service tax collection, which has become a new focus area for revenue officials, grew by 15.2 per cent to Rs 32,500 crore during the period.
With an aim to widen the service tax net, the government during the last fiscal introduced the concept of negative list of taxation. As per it, all services except those in the negative list, are taxable.
The revenue department is targeting 12 lakh non-filers and stop-filers of service tax to meet the annual target of Rs 1.81 lakh crore collection from this segment during the current fiscal.
The indirect tax collection target for financial year 2013-14 stands at Rs 5.65 lakh crore, up from Rs 4.73 lakh crore collected in financial year 2012-13, envisaging a growth of 19 per cent.
The official further said while the tax collection is growing at a slower pace, the “silver lining” is that excise duty collection has entered into a positive zone in the month of June after two consecutive months of contraction.
Excise duty mop-up in April and May had contracted 14.7 per cent and 2.7 per cent, respectively, but in June it grew by 0.9 per cent year-on-year.
Meanwhile, the finance ministry has asked excise commissioners to concentrate on top 100 assessees in their respective zones.
It has also decided to come out with a comprehensive campaign to educate people to pay service tax, which accounts for about one-third of the total indirect taxes.