New Delhi, Jul 26: Government has collected Rs 3,901.78 crore last fiscal from the 0.5 per cent Swachh Bharat cess which is imposed on all taxable services. "The amount of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan cess collected in financial year 2015-16 is Rs 3901.78 crore," Minister of State for Finance Santosh Kumar Gangwar said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha today.
"The amount utilised in financial year 2015-16 under Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) is Rs 2400 crore and under Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) is Rs 159.2 crore," he added. With the Swachh Bharat cess, the Service Tax rate has gone up to 14.5 per cent from 14 per cent. In the Budget 2015-16, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had proposed to levy a Swachh Bharat cess of up to 2 per cent 'on all or certain services, if need arises'.
The Swachh Bharat cess was levied from November 15 last year. Replying to a separate query, Gangwar said the government collected Rs 20,921.44 crore through education cess in 2015-16.
Education cess was introduced to fulfil the commitment of government to provide and finance universal quality basic, secondary and higher education. To another query, Gangwar said the customs arrears pending as on April 1, 2015 amounted to Rs 21,316 crore.
"The arrears pendency at the end of financial year 2014-15 include mainly on account of litigation, cases where appeal is not over, unit closed or defaulters not traceable," he said.