Govt to stick to Rs 33.61 lakh cr tax collection target in revised estimate, no case for fuel tax cut: Official

New Delhi: The government is likely to stick to the budgeted estimate of total tax collection target of Rs 33.61 lakh crore for current fiscal in the revised estimates, a senior finance ministry official said on Monday.

“So far, direct tax collection is up by about 20 per cent and indirect tax is higher by 5 per cent. We have data till the eight months of the fiscal and usually the collections are better in the first half. So, at the moment, we will stick to the Budget numbers in our Revised Estimates (RE),” an official said.

For 2023-24 (April-March), the Union Budget had pegged total tax collections at Rs 33.61 lakh crore, up 10.1 per cent from Rs 30.54 lakh crore in the previous year.

In the current fiscal, Rs 18.23 lakh crore is expected to be collected in direct taxes (personal income tax and corporate tax), and Rs 15.38 lakh crore from indirect taxes (GST, Customs, excise).

The revised estimates for current fiscal’s revenue numbers would be presented as part of the vote on account or interim budget to be presented by the Union finance minister on February 1, 2024, in Parliament.

Asked if there could be a cut in taxes on petrol and diesel, the official said the prices of brent crude have already cooled in the international markets and there is no case for a cut in excise duty on fuel.

India is dependent on imports to meet nearly 85 per cent of its oil needs and so benchmarks local fuel rates to international oil prices. “When crude oil prices were high, we cut excise duty. When prices have already cooled, the question of tax cut is not there. You can ask for price cut (of petrol and diesel), but it will not be because of cut in taxes,” the official said.

Brent crude prices stood at USD 76.40 a barrel in the futures market early on Monday. Excise duty on fuel was last cut in May 2022 to cool inflation. The central excise duty on petrol was then cut by Rs 8 per litre and on diesel by Rs 6 per litre. Excise duty on fuel was last cut in May 2022 to cool inflation.