Eco upswing: Advance tax collections up 13.10%

Last Updated: Wednesday, September 23, 2009 - 00:19

New Delhi: Economic recovery is clearly
visible as advance tax collections were up 13.10 per cent at
Rs 49,502 crore in the second quarter against negative growth
of nearly six per cent in the previous quarter.

However, 12 of the top 50 biggest tax payers among
corporations paid less advance tax in the second quarter ended
September 15, 2009, indicating that the upturn will take some
time to spread to all sectors.

A Finance Ministry official exuded confidence that the
third quarter advance collections will improve further as
companies are supposed to do better in the coming festival
season, even though drought would impact some of them.

According to Finance Ministry sources, advance mop up
of corporate tax registered a 14.7 per cent growth at Rs
44,010 crore in the September quarter against a negative
growth of 3.7 per cent at Rs 20,728 crore in the first
quarter.

Similarly, personal income tax advance collections
recorded a 1.7 per cent growth in the second quarter at Rs
5,492 crore against a drastic negative growth of 44 per cent
in the first quarter, the sources said.

While country`s largest lender SBI was the biggest tax
payer at Rs 1,832 crore in the second quarter, up by 17.44 per
cent, ONGC and RIL were on the second and third slots.

However, ONGC, SAIL, ICICI Bank, Citi Bank, Ambuja
Cements paid less advance tax in the second quarter on yearly
basis as their profits came under pressure.

Indian industry has been on an upswing as it grew by 8.2
per cent in June and 6.8 per cent in July this year, after
coming under the impact of a deepening global financial crisis
since the middle of September last year.

The tax figures showed that consumer durables, led by
automobiles, have shown a strong recovery as also the software
sector. Maruti paid 97.76 per cent higher tax at Rs 265 crore
in the second quarter against a year ago, while Bajaj Auto
paid around 90 per cent more tax at Rs 170 crore.

Auto industry posted a robust over 24 per cent jump in
August sales at 10,08,702.

While Infosys tax outgo was 100 per cent higher at Rs 300
crore, TCS paid 171.60 per cent higher tax at Rs 220 crore.

The cement sector has also surged to leave its sluggish
growth behind, while PSU banks continue to perform strongly.

ACC paid 257 per cent higher tax at Rs 150 crore.

While SBI ranked as the highest corporate tax payer, PNB
paid Rs 475 crore, up 35.71 per cent. Bank of India paid 199
per cent higher tax at Rs 269 crore.

The energy sector has rebounded, led by oil marketing
companies as well as the power sector. BPCL paid Rs 312 crore.

The FMCG sector has also made significant strides, while
healthcare and pharma continue to be strong. Hindustan Lever
paid around 35 per cent higher tax at Rs 175 crore.

However, the realty sector continues to be badly hit.

Metals led by steel remained down. SAIL paid Rs 13.48 per cent
less tax at Rs 918 crore.

Mining also continued to be sluggish. While NMDC`s tax
outgo was 25 per cent less at Rs 600 crore, Mahanadi
Coalfields` tax payment was 15.58 per cent less at Rs 260
crore.

Telecom was also downbeat. However, Bharti Airtel paid
220 per cent more tax at Rs 484 crore.

The government has projected direct tax collections at Rs
3,69,575 crore this fiscal in the Budget estimates.
Rs 2,56,725 crore is to come from corporate tax and Rs
1,12,850 crore from personal income tax.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee later raised the target
to Rs four lakh crore.

The Finance Ministry official was quite sure of meeting
the target projected in the Budget estimates, but kept his
fingers crossed on the target revised subsequently.

Bureau Report



First Published: Wednesday, September 23, 2009 - 00:19

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