Rs 8,900 cr in taxes pending against LIC, SBI, BSNL: Panel

Rs 8,900 cr in taxes pending against LIC, SBI, BSNL: Panel

Pulling up Revenue Department for its "inefficiency" in tax recovery, a Parliamentary panel has said that nearly Rs 8,900 crore is pending against just three public sector companies, LIC, SBI and BSNL.

The Public Accounts Committee said taxes over Rs 4.08 lakh crore were uncollected in FY 2012 and in FY 2013 the amount was Rs 4.86 lakh crore.

"Keeping in view the pendency of such cases in various courts for a long period of time, the Committee would reiterate that the Department of Revenue should take concrete measures to realise revenue in a time bound manner by pursuing these cases vigorously.

"The Committee are also constrained to observe that demand of Rs 8,872.94 crore was pending with public sector units such as LIC of India, State Bank of India and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL)," said the report presented in Parliament today.
With regard to recovery Rs 7,027.09 crore in the case of LIC, the Department has lost on the major issues in the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT), the report added.

"...this only proves the inefficiency of the Department in handling such cases which ultimately quashed at higher fora apart from flawed assessments," it sadi.

The Committee asked the government to vigorously pursue such cases and suggested hiring special counsels with proven expertise in taxation matters to represent the complex cases in various judicial fora.

Among others, the panel asked the government to widen the tax net and suggested that evaders should be dealt with strictly.

The new tax assessees came down during 2008-09 to 2010-11 and target for addition of new assessees were not achieved during 2007-08 to 2010-11, the panel observed.

"Keeping in view the shortcomings in maintaining the growth of taxpayers, the Committee had urged the government to focus on non-intrusive but penetrating methods of tax collections for being able to widen the tax base and tax evaders should be dealt with strictly," it said.

The Committee has also asked the Department of Revenue to raise the staff strength to widen the tax base.

"...the Committee recommend that the surplus staff may also be redeployed so that the operational efficiency of the Department is maximised."

The panel said tax assessees should have been much higher than existed in view of the kind of economic growth.

It asked the government to carry out a focused study to increase the number of new assessees.

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