The Centre's direct tax collections, net of refunds, grew just 6.44 per cent to Rs 37,596 crore in the first two months of this financial year, against Rs 35,322 crore in the corresponding period of 2012-13. Budget 2013-14 had estimated the collections to rise 18.07 per cent to Rs 6.68 lakh crore in 2013-14.
The dismal tax collections in April and May primarily resulted from the fact that during the period, refunds stood at a whopping Rs 25,656 crore, 51.72 more than the Rs 16,909-crore refunds in April-May 2012.
The direct tax mop-up, inclusive of refunds, grew 21.1 per cent to Rs 63,252 crore, against Rs 52,231 crore in the year-ago period.
While corporate tax collections, inclusive of refunds, rose 14.91 per cent to Rs 27,957 crore (Rs 24,329 crore in the year-ago period), personal income tax collections rose 27.29 per cent to Rs 34,805 crore(Rs 27,343 crore in the year-ago period).
Earlier, Finance Minister P Chidambaram had said his ministry would try to augment receipts to meet the fiscal deficit target of 4.8 per cent of gross domestic product for this financial year.
Collections from securities transaction tax (STT) fell 14.63 per cent to Rs 461 crore in April-May, against Rs 540 crore in the year-ago period.
This reflected the fact that Budget 2013-14 had lowered STT on equity futures to 0.01 per cent from 0.017 per cent; on mutual fund (MF) and exchange-traded funds (ETF) redemptions at fund counters from 0.25 per cent to 0.001 per cent; and MF-ETF on purchase and sale on exchanges from 0.1 to 0.001 per cent only on the seller.
Wealth tax collections increased 86.67 per cent to Rs 28 crore, against Rs 15 crore in April-May 2012-13.