By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, August 1, 2020: The state government has recorded over 13 per cent growth in collection of State Goods Services Tax (SGST) in July despite lockdown imposed by the state government in major cities to contain spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Total SGST collection in July is estimated at Rs 794 crore compared to Rs 702 crore, collected during July, last year, said official figures released by the state commercial tax commissioner’s office. The state has witnessed growth in collection of SGST for the first time in July.

However, there has been a fall of around 28 per cent in collection of gross GST that include state GST, central GST, integrated GST and cess. The gross GST collection of Odisha by July-end is estimated at around Rs 7,540 crore.

SK Lohani, commissioner commercial tax and GST directed the field officers to focus on collection of arrear revenue under various heads to compensate the fall in overall GST collection.

The state received Rs 5,122 crore GST assistance against its due of more than Rs 6000 crore. .

As per the agreement, the Centre has to pay the GST dues to the State on time. But due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“The State is going through financial crunch amid the pandemic. At this crucial time, the Central government has not done any favour by providing Rs 5,122 crore GST assistance. They should release the remaining amount as soon as possible,” said BJD MLA Sashi Bhusan Behera.

Meanwhile, defending the charges, BJP said, the State has been receiving maximum assistance under various schemes since 2017.

Commenting on the development, BJP State General Secretary Prithviraj Harichandan said, “Since last two-three financial years, the GST assistance for the state is increasing. This shows the Central government’s contribution in Odisha’s development.”

Recently, the Central government has released the GST compensation of 5,122 crore to Odisha for 2019-20 financial year.

Odisha is witnessing a downward trend in revenue collection due to COVID-19 induced lockdowns and shutdowns. The GST collection in the first quarter of 2020-21 financial year slumped by 32.79 per cent.

The State collected Rs 1,560.2 crore in the first quarter of the fiscal as compared to Rs 2,321.39 crore during the corresponding period of 2019-20 fiscal.

Similarly In June, Rs 759.17 crore GST was collected as against Rs 804.49 crore in the previous year.

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