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India's tax collection Rs 20,000 cr below target
January, 28th 2009

The global economic meltdown has taken a toll on tax collection. There is a gap of Rs 20,000 crore between the actual revenue collected and the revenue target, a senior government official said on Tuesday.

"There is approximately a gap of Rs 20,000 crore in the tax collection as on date," Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chairman N.B. Singh told reporters on the sidelines of the foundation-laying ceremony of the office-cum-residential complex for the Income Tax Department at Nariman Point.

The government, however, would try its best to achieve the budget estimate, Singh said, adding that, "We may (even) improve (on the target)."

As per the original budget estimate for the current fiscal, the target for direct tax collection was pegged at Rs 3,65,000 crore as against Rs 3,14,000 crore for the previous fiscal.

However, bolstered by a whopping 71 per cent jump in tax collection during the first two months of the current fiscal, the target was revised to Rs 3,95,000 crore.

The collection from Mumbai, which accounts for almost 33 per cent of the direct tax kitty of the Centre, was likely to fall short of the targeted revenue of Rs 1,50,000 crore, a senior I-T official said.

"The target looks difficult. We are likely to witness a negative growth in the Security Transaction Tax (STT) this year," Mumbai Chief Income Tax Commissioner P.C. Chhotaray said. Last year, Mumbai's contribution towards the STT account was around Rs 7,000 crore but this year it is likely to be much lower, thereby affecting the department's overall target, he said.

In 2007-08, the direct tax collection from Mumbai was Rs 1,13,000 crore, while the budgetary target was Rs 89,000 crore, he said.

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