Friday, 20 October 2017

Government Initiatives Bring Fiscal Stability : FM

Several new legislative and administrative measures taken by the Government have brought fiscal stability which improved tax revenues and tightened expenditure.

Several new legislative and administrative measures taken by the Government have brought fiscal stability which improved tax revenues and tightened expenditure. This was stated by the Finance Minister, Shri P. Chidambaram while addressing the Meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee attached to his Ministry, here today. He said that FRBM Act was passed as soon as the UPA Government came into power and then the Department of Revenue was energised to improve tax buoyancy. Shri Chidambaram said that the tax buoyancy is basically the result of good performance of Indian economy and the new initiatives taken by the Central Board of Direct Taxes  and Central Board of Excise and Customs 
Speaking about Direct Taxes, Shri Chidambaram said that the TDS administration, refund bankers, tax return prepares scheme, large tax payers unit, E-filing of taxes and business process reengineering are some of the important initiatives which have brought an unprecedented growth of tax collections. He said that attitude of people to pay taxes has now been changing. The personal income tax grew by 42.5% and corporation tax by 46.6% during April-November 2007 over the corresponding period of last fiscal. The overall direct tax collection growth rate is 44.9% during this period, he added.
Shri Chidambaram said that the number of taxpayers in the country has been increasing. While the number of assesses increased from 301.78 lakhs in 2003-04 to 319.26 lakhs in 2006-07, the number of assesses filing return of income increased from 234.25 lakhs to 275.44 lakhs during this period. The number of PANs as on 31st October, 2007 is 5,74,74,806 and around 8 to 9 lakhs PANs are being allotted every year. PANs de-duplication has been completed in respect of more than 95% cases. Shri Chidambaram said that pilot project of State Bank of India acting as a Refund Banker has been extended to select charges of four more cities viz., Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore apart from existing cities at Delhi and Patna.
On indirect taxes, the Finance Minister said that customs duty rates are being decreased continuously, while the excise duty rates have decreased. He said that the concept of GST-Central and States should come into effect from 1st April, 2010 which would avoid the multiplicity of different kinds of taxes. The various initiatives taken by CBEC like risk management system for customs, automatic clearance of courier consignment, automation of central excise and service tax, e-payment, large tax payer units, streamlining of customs procedures are some of the major initiatives which contributed buoyancy in collection of indirect taxes. He said, during April-October, 2007, customs duty increased by 17.4%, central excise by 7.6% and service tax by 36.3% over the corresponding period of 2006-2007. Overall collections of indirect taxes grew by 15% during this period.
The meeting was attended by S/Sh. K.V. Thangka Balu, M. Sreenivasulu Reddy, P.C. Thomas and Dr. C. Krishnan from Lok Sabha and S/Shri Rajkumar Dhoot, Bimal Jalan, S.M. Laljan Basha, and B.J. Panda from Rajya Sabha who gave several valuable suggestions. Ministers of State for Finance, Shri S.S. Palanimanickam and Shri Pawan Kumar Bansal apart from senior officers of the Finance Ministry also attended the meeting.