Signs of rebound? GST, fuel & power use, freight traffic rise – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Goods and services tax (GST) collections grew 4% to Rs 95,000 crore in September—the first rise after six months of decline—indicating a recovery in economic activity.
While it is still lower than the pre-Covid monthly average, the latest numbers show a recovery in collections from domestic sales and imports. “During September, the revenues from import of goods were 102% and those from domestic transaction (including import of services) were 105 % of the revenues from these sources during the same month last year,” an official statement said.
Non-manufacturing states report healthy rise in GST kitty
Collections in September are for sales and imports in August. While the improvement in collections will help ease the burden on states, the bad news is that compensation cess on luxury and sin goods such as cars, soft drinks, tobacco and coal fell 6.5% to Rs 7,124 crore.
The GST Council is due to meet next week to discuss the vexed issue of compensating states for revenue loss as the Centre had promised to cover for all losses if annual collection growth was under 14%.

Finance secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey said a record number of 5.7 crore e-way bills were issued in September. “This a very affirmative sign of economic recovery with increased business activities since the lockdown due to outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic six months back,” he said.

Despite the improvement, collections during April-September were still 25% lower. “A modest increase of 4% in the GST collections compared to the previous year indicates that the economic recovery is underway, with some key large states also reporting increased collections. If the present trend of GST collections continues, we should be hopeful of significant increase in the coming months based on the unlock steps taken in various states and the festival season ahead,” said Deloitte India senior director M S Mani.
Numbers from states showed that there was a healthy rise in collections in non-manufacturing states, with Nagaland leading the pack with a 43% jump in September and Jammu and Kashmir growing 30%. Among the so-called more industrialised states, Tamil Nadu and Haryana, saw collections improve 15% each. Sikkim, Goa and several Northeast states also saw double-digit growth. Delhi was among the laggards, with collections dropping 7% in September.
New models, price cuts drive auto surge
The car and two-wheeler industry saw a rebound in September, partly led by the excitement around new models and also festive discounts.

Last month, Tata Motors and Kia recorded 162% and 147% growth respectively in year-on-year sales. Maruti sold 34% more cars compared with the same month a year ago and Hyundai recorded a 24% rise. On the two-wheeler side, Hero Moto, Honda and Royal Enfield reported growth.

Petrol sales beat pre-Covid levels, NTPC output up 13%
Petrol use shot past pre-Covid levels while diesel sales stood just 7% short of the year-ago mark in September, reports Sanjay Dutta. Simultaneously, the NTPC group, India’s largest power generation utility, recorded a 13% growth in output in the July-September quarter, underlining a rebound in economic activity.

Railway freight loading up 15.3% in September
Freight loading by the railways increased by 15.3% in September against a year ago and revenue from freight grew by 13.5%. The increase in freight loading was across commodities, with foodgrain registering a 101% increase over last September.

Manufacturing activity expanded at fastest pace in over 8 years
Activity in manufacturing sector rose at its fastest pace in more than eight years on the back of robust new orders as the economy opened for business after the strict lockdown, a survey showed on Thursday, bringing much-needed relief for policy makers battling one of the sharpest contractions in the economy.

The IHS Markit India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) increased from 52 in August to 56.8 in September, signalling back-to-back improvements in the health of the sector. The survey showed that there were renewed expansions in exports and input stocks as well as an improvement in business confidence. Output prices rose for the first time in six months, reflecting an uptick in input costs.

Mazagon PSU IPO subscribed 157 times
With a subscription of 157 times, the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders IPO has become the most successful PSU divestment offer in terms of oversubscription. Coming amid LAC row, the demand for it was worth nearly Rs 70,000 crore against an IPO size of Rs 444 crore.

Sensex: Best weekly surge in 4 months
The opening up of the economy, GST mop up and US stimulus hopes propelled sensex by 629 points to 38,697 on Thursday. The index’s 1,308-point gain has made it its best weekly rise in nearly four months.
The surge lifted the rupee by 63 paise to 73.14 to a dollar.

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