FM Inaugurates the 27th Annual Conference of Chief Commissioners and Directors General of Income Tax

The Union Finance Minister Shri Mukherjee said that for the Financial Year 2011-12, the Income-tax Department has been given a tax collections target of about Rs.5.33 lakh crores, which is at 20 per cent growth over the actual collections of the preceding year i.e. 2010-11. He said that the 13th Finance Commission (2010-15) has projected direct tax revenue collection at Rs.8.3 lakh crore by 2014-15 and direct tax GDP ratio at 7.62 per cent. The Direct tax GDP ratio as of now is 5.66 per cent. The targets are very steep and challenging. The Union Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee said that international economic situation is nor very conducive and highly uncertain. He said that global recovery is very slow and sluggish. Beside, the international commodity prices of energyespecially fossil fuel is quite volatile causing inflationary trend. Shri Mukherjee said that this will adversely impact the GDP growth and liquidity position in the world market. In this situation, the Union Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee said that officers of the Income Tax Department would have to work very hard to achieve their tax collections targets for the current year and strictly comply with tax compliance regime.

He earlier congratulated the officers and employees of the Income Tax Department for their efforts in achieving the revised tax collections target as per budget estimates of Rs.4.46 lakh crores for Financial Year 2010-11. Lauding the Department for being at the forefront of mobilizing tax for the Government, Shri Mukherjee said that the collection of direct taxes has almost doubled in the last four years from Financial Year 2006-07 to Financial Year 2010-11. This has been made possible due to rationalization of tax structure, improvement in tax administration and tax-payer™s services through intensive use of technology, and unrelenting efforts put in by the officers and employees of the Income-tax Department, the Minister added.

The Finance Minister said that the performance is all the more commendable in Financial Year 2010-11 as refunds of about Rs.74,000 crores in about 85 lakh cases were issued as against refunds of about Rs.57,000 crores in about 50 lakh cases in Financial Year 2009-10. The Minister expressed happiness on being informed that the Department is maintaining momentum in issue of refunds in the current fiscal year also and has issued refunds of about Rs.23,000 crores in about 20 lakh cases in the month of April, 2011. This has also been appreciated widely by the tax-payers throughout the country and will go a long way in deepening the credibility of the Department, he added.

He said that Direct Tax Code Bill is under examination of Parliament Standing Committee and will be effective from April 1, 2012. Therefore, Department should prepare for transition from the Income Tax Act 1961 to the Direct Tax Code Bill regime, he said. The Finance Minister said that it would include various issues like redrawing of business processes, rules, forms, training needs of manpower and the necessary infrastructure. This task should be completed in a mission mode to avoid any inconvenience to tax-payers and also to maintain continuity in revenue buoyancy, said the Minsiter

Shri Mukherjee said that the ongoing computerization programme of the Income tax Department needs to be effectively utilised to optimize the collection potential. It may require the up-gradation of current Data Mining and other initiatives for Data Warehousing Solutions for developing Comprehensive Business Intelligence, he added. The Finance Minister further said that this will be essential for just in-time, enforcement capability. Simultaneously, policy initiatives may be necessary to decide the ways and means of conversion of large data base into effective action against all recalcitrant assessees and deductors, stop filers, non filers. This action may necessitate a paradigm shift in the approach and functioning of the Department in utilizing the manpower available at its disposal, said the Minister.

He even said that the tax Deduction at Source is a major component of tax collected and is based on very healthy principle of pay as you earn. The Centralized Processing Centre (CPC) for TDS matters at Ghaziabad is likely to be functional this year. Policy initiatives by CBDT in this area of work by making it enforceable against the deductors on real time basis may be of relevance for enhancing the TDS collections. The Minister said that It should be ensured that this CPC is set up on priority and its technological capabilities are fully exploited for revenue collection maximization.

Speaking about the Central Processing Centre, Bengaluru which has become fully functional, the Minister said that CPC Bengaluru has processed more than 85 lakh e-returns during the F.Y. 2010-11 and it would perform still better in this year. Three more CPCs for tax returns are planned at Manesar, Pune & Kolkata.

The Union Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee said that towards better taxpayer services, this year the IT department has introduced simple and user friendly SAHAJ (Form) for individual salary tax-payers. He said that he has also introduced SUGAM for small tax-payers availing presumptive tax scheme. The Department needs to focus on preventive vigilance and adopt a strategy for zero tolerance for corruption. He said that the Department should take all measures as are required for effectively implementing preventive vigilance.

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