NEW DELHI: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday asked senior officials of the Income Tax Department to keep an eye on domestic black money at a time when the government has been making efforts to nail those who have stashed ill-gotten wealth in tax havens abroad.
He was addressing senior officers of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), whom he asked to be friendly to assessee and asked them to aim at widening the tax base.
To the Revenue Department officials, Jaitley asked them not to “lose sight of domestic black money keeping in view its magnitude”.
He told the senior IT department officials to focus their energies on sectors that are laden with graft money and where such practices are very prevalent.
“The recovery of black money and taxes due thereon will also help the department in achieving its tax collection targets,” Jaitley said.
The Minister was speaking at a review meeting of Principal Chief Commissioners, Principal Directors General, Chief Commissioners of I-T here today in order to assess the revenue collection target for 2014-15 fiscal.
India’s gross income tax collection grew 13.6 per cent to over Rs 3.77 lakh crore between April-October 20. The net collections stood at over Rs 2.96 lakh crore.
The government aims to collect Rs 7.36 lakh crore from direct taxes in current fiscal.
Certain sectors of economy such as services sector are doing well while other sectors including manufacturing sector are gradually picking up compared to previous years, he said, adding that the economy will perform in the second half. With the rise in economic activity, Jaitley expects the revenue collection targets to be achieved.
Jaitley said, “Senior officers of the department shall act and behave in a assessee friendly manner but at the same time ensure that tax payers do not evade tax and must pay the taxes due from them.”
The meeting was attended among others by the Minister for State for Finance Nirmala Sitharaman, Revenue Secretary Shaktikanta Das, Chairman CBDT K V Chowdary, Members of CBDT, senior officers of Finance Ministry and CBDT.
Meanwhile, Jaitley said media did not accurately reflect the spirit of his speech at the CAG conference.
“News reports of my speech at the CAG conference do not accurately reflect the spirit of my speech,” Jaitley said in a Facebook post.
The Finance Minister has also uploaded the link of the speech he delivered at the valedictory meet of the annual Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) conference here on Wednesday.
Jaitley in his speech had said the government auditor should not sensationalise its findings to get into headlines.
“Auditor should be conscious of the fact that he is reviewing a decision that has already been taken. Have the fair procedures been followed?
“He doesn’t have to sensationalise. He doesn’t have to get into the headlines,” he had said. (With agency inputs)