Beef up efforts to meet revenue target: FM to tax officials

Apprehending slippages in tax collection, Finance Minister P Chidambaram today asked revenue officials to beef up efforts to achieve the budgeted target in the remaining period of the current fiscal.

"There is of course apprehension that you may fall short of budget target. But, nevertheless, in the remaining seven weeks or so you must make efforts to achieve the budgeted target," Chidambaram said while addressing officials of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC).

Government has budgeted to collect over Rs 5.05 lakh crore in the current fiscal from indirect taxes that comprise excise, customs and service tax.

The indirect tax collection during April-November grew at a moderate rate of 16.8 per cent to Rs 2.92 lakh crore, as against the annual growth target of 27 per cent.
Finance Minister attributed the subdued growth in tax collection to slackening economic activity.

"This has been a difficult year for tax collection too. As economy slowed down, imports also slowed down, manufacturing too was subdued and therefore collections have been affected," he said, adding that he has urged the board to continue with efforts to achieve the budgeted target.

The industrial output growth shrank 0.1 per cent in November. Imports in the first nine months of this financial year dipped by 0.71 per cent to USD 361.2 billion.
The economy grew by 5.4 per cent in the first half of the current fiscal, lower than 7.3 per cent growth clocked in the year-ago period.

It is likely to grow by 5.7 per cent in the current fiscal, which would be a decade's low. This is lower than 6.2 per cent recorded in the previous year.

The Minister also asked the tax officials to shift to technology driven regime instead of following "heavy handed" tax administration.

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