'Sustained steps to meet revenue target needed'

Economic slowdown is the challenge

He cautioned that the slowdown in GDP growth may pose a big challenge to revenue generation.

“Doubts are being raised over growth projection of 9 per cent for the current fiscal. It would be possible to achieve a growth rate of 8.75 per cent--plus-minus 0.25 per cent--with hard work. There is need for sustained efforts to meet the revenue target set for the current fiscal,” he said addressing the annual conference of Chief Commissioners and Directors General of Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) here.

The budget for 2011-12 has set the revenue collection target under the Indirect Taxes comprising Central Excise, Customs and Service Tax at Rs 3.92 lakh crore-- 15 per cent more than that of the previous fiscal 2010-11.

Challenging task

In case of direct taxes comprising income tax and corporate tax, the target has been pegged at Rs 5.32 lakh crore. “To achieve the target of indirect tax collection in the current fiscal we need a growth of nearly 15 per cent. The task before revenue officers is very challenging and will require sustained and strategic efforts all throughout the year,” Mukherjee said. Sharing concern of the Finance Minister the Finance Secretary Sunil Mitra, who is also the Revenue Secretary, felt that it would not be easy to achieve the revenue collection targets for the current fiscal as the economic growth rate in the current fiscal was expected to moderate to  8.5 per cent as against 9 per cent projected earlier.

Suggesting strategies to boost revenue collection Mukherjee urged the tax officials to work towards reducing the tax litigations. In this context he said the amount of taxes locked in litigations currently stood at around Rs 35,000 crore as against a little over Rs 9,000 crore in March 2005.

“This is a matter of serious concern. Efforts must be made to devise a joint strategy for realisation and liquidation of at least 50 per cent of this locked up revenue during the current fiscal,” he suggested.

Dwelling on initiatives to redress taxpayers’ grievances on matters relating indirect taxes the government has decided to set up seven Indirect Tax Ombudsman.These will be located at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Lucknow.

He said with an aim to make the FDI policy user friendly, all prior regulations and guidelines have been consolidated into an comprehensive document. The document is reviewed every six months.

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