The Opposition on Thursday sought changes in the present income tax procedures to make it people-friendly and said it would help check tax evasion.

Participating in the resumed debate on the Finance Bill in the Lok Sabha, Anant Geete of Shiv Sena said people are more interested in evading tax than paying it for development.

He said the insensitivity of the IT department and the cumbersome procedures associated with filing tax returns were the main reasons behind the attitude of the people.

“Recently a senior IT official’s premises were raided by the CBI in Thane (near Mumbai) and Rs 2.5 crore was recovered ...he had manipulated the IT procedures to blackmail a person who was to pay Rs 25 crore as income tax,” he said demanding simplification of process.

He said such incidents should be of concern to the Finance Minister and demanded that Pranab Mukherjee disclose the number of big and small traders who pay income tax.

Mr. Geete accused the Government of ignoring the interests of the “aam admi” by failing to check inflation. “The aam admi is suffering from back-breaking inflation but we do not see the government taking steps to check the trend,” he said.

He said the Bharat bandh called by 13 Opposition parties shows that the common man was forced to hit the streets as the government was not taking interest in his problems.

Bhoopendra Singh (Bharatiya Janata Party) claimed that country’s economic situation was going down every day and the government has no agenda to improve it.

He said because of the country’s complicated tax system, the poor are becoming poorer and the rich richer. He alleged that the government was keen on protecting the interests of industrial houses rather than the farmers.

Kalyan Banerjee (Trinamool Congress) demanded that industries working in Naxal and Maoist-hit areas should “return the benefits” to the local people by ensuring development.

He also raised the issue of cess on coal production not being used in the same area for development in West Bengal and gave the example of Asansol.

Dara Singh Chauhan (Bahujan Samaj Party) sought incentive to agriculture sector as it is the backbone of the country’s economy. He said the Centre should give liberal financial help to Uttar Pradesh and clear all pending projects for the State.

Jagdambika Pal (Congress) said the government has been doing commendable job in sectors like health, education, rural development, women and child welfare.

He said tax benefits given in the Budget would benefit all sections of the people.

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