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Government will meet direct tax target, says finance minister
December, 13th 2012

Finance minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday said the government was confident of meeting the direct tax collection target of Rs 5.7 lakh crore for the current financial year, while asking the income tax department to prioritize refunds to small taxpayers . "I am confident we will meet the direct tax collection target ... (all those people) whose data we have about their purchases, mutual funds, if everybody pays advance tax, then actually we will collect more than the target," said the minister , who recently took stock of collection trends.

Earlier this week, revenue secretary Sumit Bose had exhorted taxpayers to pay the third installment of advance tax for which the due date is December 15. Chidambaram said he had sent his advance tax cheque, while urging others to pay their dues on time. "What is real is net collection... our net collection numbers are satisfactory ." Net direct collections during April-November increased by 15% year-on-year , while growth in gross direct tax collection stood at 7%, Chidambaram said.

He also made it clear that there were no instructions to hold back on refunds as the entire process had moved to an automated system. "Smaller taxpayer is getting priority in refund. Somebody who has to get Rs 5 lakh can wait. Somebody who has to get Rs 5,000 should get first," the minister said in response to queries. He said the government had already cleared refunds of Rs 57,000 crore for this fiscal. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has issued a directive to prioritize low-value refunds. Last year around this time, he said, the tax refund was Rs 70,000 crore.

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