Jaitley also hopes that direct tax collections target of Rs 7,36,221 cr for the current fiscal would not only be achieved but also surpassed as well
New Delhi : As government makes effort to bring illicit money stashed abroad, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley asked the I-T Department to focus its effort on unearthing ‘quite large’ black money within the country as well.
“The government is making full efforts to bring back the black money stashed abroad, but the officers of the (Income Tax) Department have to make equally serious efforts to unearth black money within the country,” he said in a statement.
The government has set up a special investigation team (SIT) to unearth black money stashed abroad. The SIT, headed by former Supreme Court Judge M B Shah and Vice Chairman Arijit Pasayat, has 11 members in the panel who are heads of many investigative and enforcement agencies of the country.
The Finance Minister also hoped that revenue targets fixed for direct taxes in the current fiscal would not only be achieved but would be surpassed as well. The direct tax collections for the current fiscal has been pegged at Rs 7,36,221 crore. He was addressing the 30th annual conference of Principle Chief Commissioners, Principle Director Generals (DGs), Chief Commissioners & DGs of Income Tax Department. The FM emphasised that the credibility of Income Tax department is its greatest asset. During 2013-14, tax collection fell short of target by a whopping Rs 77,000 crore. The government collected Rs 11.58 lakh crore against the budget estimate of Rs 12.35 lakh crore.
He emphasised that officers are duty-bound to work in a non-adversarial, non-intrusive, transparent and fair manner, yet they have to deal firmly with those trying to evade taxes.
The focus and efforts of the officers should be to reduce tax arrears which are to the tune of Rs 4 lakh crore and higher tax recovery, Revenue Secretary Shaktikanta Das said, adding, the department should avoid frivolous cases.
Gold duty cut
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will take a call on cutting the import duty on gold in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India, depending on the current account deficit, Central Board of Excise and Customs Chairperson J.M. Shanti Sundharam said.
On concerns that the high import duty on gold was resulting in increased cases of smuggling, she said the “quantum of gold smuggling is at last year’s level.”