CBDT goes all out to make good the target shortfall in the remaining months
With Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee losing sleep over the ‘enormity' of subsidy bills, lower-than-targeted direct tax collections and a consequent widening fiscal deficit, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chairman Laxman Das has asked his taxmen all over the country to take up the challenge and mop up the budgeted revenue in the remaining months of this fiscal to bridge the gap.
In a communication to top IT officials after taking over charge on February 1, Mr. Das termed the Rs.5.32 lakh crore direct tax target as ‘non-negotiable' and spurred taxmen to mop up as much revenue as possible this fiscal with a promise of ‘good appraisals' and ‘choice transfers'.
Alongside, the CBDT chief also directed all the chief commissioners of income-tax to furnish the latest data on of revenue collection in their respective regions by February 15 as a compulsory measure.
“I have taken over as Chairman at a time when revenue collections seem to be far away from the budget target, with less than two months at hand. At this critical juncture, our task as revenue administrators becomes that much more challenging … As senior officers, we have to play a critical role in making all possible efforts to improve the situation. We have to ensure every CC/DG achieves the budget target,” Mr. Das said in his note to taxmen.
As of now, meeting target appears to be a far cry, as the latest data on tax collection reveal. As per the data, the net direct tax mop-up during April-January went up by a mere 9.28 per cent to Rs.3.46 lakh crore. With such a low pace of growth in collections, it is unlikely that the revenue mop up target for 2011-12 will be met.
However, the CBDT chief has lost no effort in encouraging his staff to rise to the occasion.
“I trust that each of you understands that achieving the budget target is non-negotiable. On my part, I assure you of my absolute support in this regard. I am sure with your support we will be able to meet our targets,” he said, while providing enough carrots to ensure that the task was accomplished.
“Among the parameters of performance in your work area, achievement of revenue collection target will obviously be given the highest weightage while writing your annual performance appraisal reports by reporting officers and reviewing officers and will also be a major factor while considering placements during annual general transfers in 2012,” he said.
Even as the net Rs.3.46 lakh crore garnered during the period has been mainly owing higher realisation of personal income-tax and corporate tax, the full year's collection target of Rs.5.32 lakh crore had envisaged a growth of 19 per cent over the previous fiscal year.
However, the gross direct tax collection during April-January was up 14.57 per cent at Rs.4.25 lakh crore while gross corporate tax collection was up 12 per cent at Rs.2.85 lakh crore.
The personal income-tax collection in the ten-month period this fiscal was up 20.43 per cent at Rs.1.38 lakh crore.
Indirect tax collections, however, present a more rosy picture with a jump of 15 per cent in the April-January period to Rs.3.17 lakh crore. During the ten-month period, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has been able to achieve almost 81 per cent of Budget estimate for this fiscal year.
“At the present rate of growth, the CBEC should be able to achieve the target of Rs.3.93 lakh crore (for the current fiscal),” the Finance Ministry said in a statement.
While service tax collection during the period continued to be strong with a 37 per cent growth to Rs.75,440 crore, excise collection also was up 6.8 per cent to Rs.1.17 lakh crore.
The total mop up from the customs duty went up by 12.7 per cent to Rs.1.24 lakh crore during the period.