Service tax collection up 36.7%
The government has collected over Rs 70,000 crore in service tax this year till January, 36.7 per cent more over the same period last fiscal, Parliament was informed.
"The objective of the Union Government has been substantially achieved as there has been exponential growth in the service tax revenues over the years.
"Up to the month of January, 2012, Rs 70,374 crore has been collected as service tax revenue, registering a growth of 36.7 per cent over the same period last year," Minister of State for Finance S S Palanimanickam said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.
To a query if the government was considering lowering service tax rates, Meena said that "will be examined as part of the Budget".
At present, government levies 10 per cent tax on services, captured under 119 services head.
To another query, Meena said that advance estimates released by the Central Statistics Office estimates the country's GDP at 6.9 per cent for the current financial year,
lower than 9 per cent that the Economic Survey 2010-11 had estimated.
"The slowdown in growth in GDP owes mainly to negative growth in mining sector and a sharp slowdown in manufacturing sector," he said.
He added that the slowdown in some sectors owe to persistence of inflation leading to rising costs and shrinking profit margins, weakening capital expenditure owing to high interest rates and slowdown in the global economic activity.
Further, responding to another query in Parliament, Meena said 19 commercial banks were penalised by the Reserve Bank for contravention of various instructions in respect of derivatives and they have paid the penalties.