Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: An awareness campaign will be rolled out throughout the State to augment the tax deduction at source from the present 40 per cent to 55 per cent.

The drive follows a directive from Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram to increase the collection, according to Chief Commissioner of Income Tax (CCIT-1) G. Muthuramakrishnan. On Thursday, Mr. Muthuramakrishnan took over from Radha Srivastava, who is moving over to Hyderabad. P. Ranganathan (CCIT-4) has replaced Mr. Muthuramakrishnan as Director-General of Income Tax (Investigation), Chennai.

Talking to The Hindu after taking charge, Mr. Muthuramakrishnan said: “We are launching a State-wide awareness programme. It will begin at the High Court complex, covering Pay and Accounts offices, Central Government Ministry, State Government Ministry and private taxpayers. This programme will be on for three weeks from Monday.”

Last year, the total income tax collection in the Tamil Nadu region amounted to Rs.18,797 crore, including 40 per cent in tax deduction at source and 52 per cent in advance taxes. This year, the department has set an ambitious target of Rs.23,000 crore.

Mr. Muthuramakrishnan expressed the hope that the campaign would help the department net Rs.3,000 crore more from tax deduction at source.

On searches

Referring to searches and surveys conducted by the department when he was the Director-General, Mr. Muthuramakrishnan said the number of searches had come down by nearly 25 per cent during 2007-2008.

As per the Finance Ministry’s directive, the searches were being carried out on the basis of annual information reports and documents available with sub-registrars and intelligence gathered by the department.