“As of now, there is no such plan of increasing the borrowing immediately,” said Tarun Bajaj, Revenue Secretary in an interview with CNBC-TV18.
“Let us see how the December advance taxes come up, how the goods and services tax (GST) figures come up in this month and in the next month. My own assumption is that we may not need to go in for any additional borrowing. At this point of time, I would only say that there is nothing of extra borrowing that is planned at the moment,” he added.
The central government has ushered in Diwali by cutting the excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 5 and Rs 10 respectively. This may provide much-needed relief for the common man but it will have a Rs 60,000 crore burden on the government’s coffers in five months till March.
Bajaj feels that with some efforts on the revenue front, the government should be able to cover that gap.
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Reduction in excise duty on petrol and diesel has had an impact on value-added tax (VAT) because VAT is also levied on excise duty. So the prices have come down.
“The situation is dynamic, the feeling that we have from the ministry of petroleum is that the rates should remain somewhat at this level before they come down in the coming months, after the winters are over,” Bajaj stated.
GST collections in October were at the second-highest number since the rollout.
“It signifies that the economy is on the uptick. It also signifies that people have realized that it is very important to formalize their businesses. A lot of credit also goes to the department which has very quietly worked on ensuring that there is better compliance by the people. From now onwards, I won’t say that Rs 1.30 lakh crore will be the ballpark figure for every month but from now onwards we should not see anything less than Rs 1.15-1.20 lakh crore in any month, so that is a good sign for GST in the coming months,” said Bajaj.
For the full interview, watch the accompanying video.
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