High tax revenues reflect mop-up from income disclosure scheme: SBI
Commenting on the advance GDP estimates of Central Statistics Office (CSO) and tax mop-up numbers of the Finance Ministry, SBI Ecowrap says 7.1 per cent growth estimated by the CSO translates into 6.1 per cent and 7.8 per cent growth respectively, in third and fourth quarters of this fiscal.
"This means that the impact of demonetisation has been possibly somehow reflected in the third quarter data, but the 7.8 per cent growth in the fourth quarter is quite unrealistic," says the publication, anchored by the SBI Group's Chief Economic Advisor Soumya Kanto Ghosh.
The think tank also says it has never happened in the past that GDP jumped by 1.7 percentage points between two successive quarters. It only happened in the first and second quarters of fiscal year 2012-13, but due to a change in base year.
"These are the dangers of projecting GDP data on past data."
As regards the Finance Ministry's numbers, the think tank says: "We believe that the recent spurt in direct and indirect tax collections is also clearly attributable to collections on non-petro products and the collections from the income disclosure scheme."
It says the rise in personal income tax collections is because of the disclosure scheme. Yet, it says, by adjusting the tax at 45 per cent of the proceeds from the scheme, the personal income tax collections would have still expanded by 16.7 per cent to Rs 2.2 lakh crore.
This, it added, was a healthy trend.
The think tank has also sought to analyse the reasons behind a 43.1 per cent jump in excise duty collections. Calling it the most defining collection, it says 15.4 per cent could be the result of fuel prices, the remaining (27.7 per cent) has to come from other components.
These other components, it adds, could be cement, auto, iron and steel, and gems and jewellery. "It is also possible that some of the purchases of these products could have been frontloaded with the use of demonetised notes, thereby leading to a spurt in the November numbers."