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Pranab asks Mumbai taxmen to meet collection target
January, 12th 2012

The finance minister "exhorted the tax officers to put their best foot forward to achieve the Budget collection target fixed for the Mumbai region," Income Tax department said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Mumbai region contributes over a third of the overall direct tax collection. It has been targeting a 33 per cent increase in income tax collections at Rs 2.04 lakh crore for the financial year, but has achieved a meager 4 per cent jump in advance tax collections. In the direct tax segment, advance tax contributes the most.

After taking stock of revenue collection of Mumbai region over the weekend, Mukherjee on Wednesday held a similar meeting of taxmen of North Zone in New Delhi and also asked them to step up the tax collection exercise.

The meeting was also attended by chiefs of Central Board of Direct Taxes and Central Board of Excise and Customs.

Earlier, the finance minister had had meetings with tax officials of East and West zones.

At the Mumbai meeting, Finance Secretary R S Gujral had said that present times are "very critical" as a "steep decline" in GDP growth is resulting in a dip in the levy collections.

He said companies in the banking, finance and insurance sector, which account for half of the collections in the Mumbai region, are facing difficult time and the region will have to depend on sectors like software, pharma, FMCG and infrastructure, which are showing healthy increase, to achieve the target.

As an alternative, Mukherjee asked the I-T authorities to explore other possibilities like recovery in cases of tax defaulters and suggested adoption of some realistic steps to achieve targets in a time-bound manner.

The likely slowdown in economic growth to about 7 per cent from the 9 per cent projected in Budget could severely impact the revenue collection target. The government expects to collect Rs 7.89 lakh crore in revenue this fiscal.

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