He appeals to people to make regular and honest payment

The tax gap — the difference between what ought to be paid by taxpayers against what is collected — must be narrowed to enable the Governments take up developmental activities for the have-nots, said Andhra Pradesh Assembly Speaker Nadendla Manohar on Friday.

He was addressing the inaugural meeting of ‘Chowdary & Rao Foundation’ and first Mummaneni Subba Rao Memorial Lecture.

Reiterating that taxes were imposed to reduce dissimilarities between the rich and the poor in society, he wondered how the governments would run without taxes. Admitting that there was a lot of pressure from the business community which complained of high taxes, he said in fact the number of tax-payers must increase in the country. “Tax collection existed from time immemorial. Be it a rule of an ancient king or an elected government of the modern times, the rulers must create wealth to cater to the needs of the have-nots,” he maintained.

Mr. Manohar appealed to people not to evade tax and make regular and honest payment.

Delivering the first Mummaneni Subba Rao Memorial lecture on “Tax Payers and Tax Collectors –Relations and Responsibilities”, Central Board of Direct Taxes Member and Special Secretary K.V. Chowdary dwelt at length on the gamut of issues related to the subject.

Referring to the three important organs of our democracy – Legislature, Executive and Judiciary, he said that all three must work in tandem for smooth functioning.

“Finance is the backbone of the States,” he said, explaining about the sources of finance/revenue – tax revenue and non-tax revenue.

He also went on to explain how important it was for people to pay taxes accurately and promptly. “Ideally, tax collection should be like how a honey bee collects nectar from flowers without disturbing it in any way. But unfortunately, that is not the situation,” he said.

Voluntary compliance

Throwing light on the vision of the Income Tax department, he said that it was mainly to partner in the nation-building process through progressive tax policy and through improved voluntary compliance.

Mr. Chowdary said only 5 per cent of the tax payers were called to the department office for scrutiny. The mission of the department was to make compliance easy, to enforce tax laws with fairness and to deliver quality services.

Earlier, a video film on the remarkable journey of the late Mummaneni Subba Rao’s life was depicted by compiling opinions, expressions, emotions and reflections of people who were his close associates. Starting his career with a salary of Rs. 70 a month, Mr. Subba Rao went on to grow from strength to strength and refused to relax till he breathed his last, they recalled.

He was extolled as a go-getter, a visionary, a dedicated Rotarian and a remarkable educationist a steely resolve, clarity of thought and enormous commitment.

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