Indirect tax collections in April-June increased to Rs over Rs 1,53,980 crore from over Rs 1.12 lakh crore in the year-ago period, a Finance Ministry statement today said. In the period under review, central excise collections stood out, rising a smart 81 percent to Rs 61,661 crore, from Rs 34,067 crore a year earlier.

The statement said, "These collections indicate that the underlying momentum in the economy is improving across all sectors, including manufacturing, reflected in healthy excise tax collections." The indirect tax collections reflect in part the effect of the additional measures taken by the central government, including the excise hike on diesel and petrol, the increase in clean energy cess and withdrawal of exemptions for motor vehicles and consumer durables, besides service tax rate hike to 14 percent.

Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian said that excluding these new measures, the indirect tax collections – which include excise, Customs and service taxes -- grew 14.5 percent in the first quarter over the same period last fiscal. "Given that GDP growth is the tax base, what it suggests is that the underlying nominal GDP growth is growing at a healthy pace," Subramanian told reporters.

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