Focus will be on tax evasion-prone commodities, says Siddaramaiah after chairing a meeting of high-level officials
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, hard pressed for funds to implement welfare measures, held a high-level meeting with senior bureaucrats, including those from the Department of Commercial Taxes, here on Friday and fixed a tax collection target of Rs. 37,740 crore for this fiscal.
Disclosing this to presspersons after the meeting, Mr. Siddaramaiah, who holds the Finance portfolio, said that tax collection for the first four months till the end of July was Rs. 14,500 crore. This accounted for 15 per cent compared to tax mobilisation in the corresponding period last year.
He said that the target set by him for the department was 21 per cent.
Asked how he was going to achieve the target, Mr. Siddaramaiah said that he had directed the officials to target tax evasion-prone commodities such as cement, steel, construction material, electrical goods, and also automobile and automobile spare parts.
Mr. Siddaramaiah said that suppression of tax could be detected by the Enforcement Directorate and told the officials to speed up disposal of appeals, and do proper auditing and assessment of tax proposals. He said that he had directed them to take up vigorous implementation of all the nine legislation, including those on profession, entertainment and betting tax.
The Chief Minister said that he had asked them to concentrate on recovering tax arrears amounting to Rs. 3,000 crore and handle cases where traders had obtained stay on the orders of the department. A senior Additional Commissioner of Commercial Taxes had been deputed to have focused operations to achieve the set target, he added.
A senior official, who attended the meeting, said that the department could recover at least Rs. 1,500 crore, which was collectable.
There were 4,82,000 dealers who are expected to make their e-payments between the 20th and the 26th of every month. Of them, nine per cent do not file returns, possibly due to no business or genuine exigencies.
The official said that last year the tax collection was Rs. 31,875 crore and the tax collected till Friday was more than Rs. 15,000 crore. He said that the department had to collect Rs. 22,000 crore tax in the next seven months. He said that tax collection would pick up now and hoped that they would reach the target.