Pointing out that the Income-Tax Department was now actively working on a plan to both widen and deepen (raising compliance levels) the tax base, Mr R.S. Mathoda, Member, Central Board of Direct Taxes, said here today that direct tax collections have continued to record a growth of over 40 per cent for the period April to December 15.
Participating in an interactive session organised by the Bengal National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BNCCI) here today, Mr Mathoda said net direct tax collections stood at Rs 1,67,407 crore, against Rs 1,15,377 crore in the same period last fiscal, recording a growth of 42.5 per cent. He said this reflected an achievement of over 61 per cent of the budgeted direct tax target of Rs 2.67,490 crore.
He said the cost of collections has come down from 7.4 per cent in 2005-06 to 0.5 per cent in 2006-07, indicating a healthy trend for future direct tax collections.
Corporate tax registered a growth of 42.37 per cent at Rs 98,391 crore, up from the Rs 69,110 crore in the previous fiscal. He said the overall corporate tax growth was highest in the Mumbai region (68.43 per cent), followed by Pune (58.68 per cent), north western region (Chandigarh) at 47.98 per cent, Andhra Pradesh (Hyderabad) at 43.82 per cent and eastern UP (Lucknow) at 39.79 per cent.
Corporate tax growth, he said, was the highest in the north-eastern region (Guwahati) at 244.18 per cent, followed by Kerala (Kochi) at 83.33 per cent, Mumbai at 80.92 per cent, eastern Uttar Pradesh (Lucknow) at 71.22 per cent and Pune region at 56.24 per cent.
Later, talking to newspersons, Mr Mathod said more steps were on the anvil, especially after the proposed new Tax Code Bill is placed before Parliament in the next session, for a broad guideline on how to raise the effective rate of taxation for corporates while minimising the various exemptions and incentives.
On the ongoing computerisation drive taken up by the department, as part of the overall revamp exercise for ushering in a greater assessee-friendly environment, he admitted that the pace of implementation was not up to the desired level. We still need to integrate the regional systems with the Central Server in Delhi, and the back-up in Chennai. He expected the uploading to be completed by March 2008.
Citing the agreement between IBM and Airtel for providing the connectivity to the I-T department, Mr Mathod said training schemes for staff were being intensified through tie-ups with some B schools, and also through training sessions abroad. The first batch f I-T department trainees is expected to travel to Singapore for a familiarisation exercise.