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Indirect taxes may exceed budget targets: Chidambaram
February, 25th 2008

Excise collections growth matter of concern: CBEC chief 

The Finance Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, on Sunday expressed confidence that the Revenue Department would exceed the budget targets on indirect taxes for 2007-08 and get 1 per cent of excess collections as rewards for this year too.

Despite sluggish growth in excise duty collections, this optimism comes on the back of buoyant customs duty collections so far in the current fiscal.

For 2007-08, the Government had pegged the indirect tax collections target at about Rs 2.8 lakh crore.

I dont know how much excess collections you will do in 2007-08. You still have a month to exceed the budget target. I am confident that the budget target will be exceeded this year too and you will be rewarded with 1 per cent of your excess collections, Mr Chidambaram said while addressing the annual investiture ceremony and central excise day celebrations function of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) here on Sunday.

In both 2005-06 and 2006-07, the CBEC exceeded budget targets to the tune of Rs 8,615 crore and Rs 11,300 crore respectively and got a reward of 1 per cent of the excess collections, which amounted close to Rs 200 crore

You have a little over Rs 200 crore that could be spent on infrastructure, improving the working conditions of your officers and other employees and make the environment friendly and conducive for better work through good housekeeping, Mr Chidambaram said.

The Finance Ministers observations on surpassing budget estimates for 2007-08 came less than a week before he would present the Union budget for 2008-09 on Friday. Achievement of excise duty collections target of Rs 1,30,220 crore for 2007-08 is going to be a major challenge for the Revenue Department if one were to go by the excise duty collections till end-January this fiscal.

excise revenue growth

The CBEC Chairman, Mr S.K. Shingal, said that the overall central excise revenue growth was a matter of concern, highlighting that excise collections till January 2008 this fiscal were Rs 97,559 crore, registering a growth of 7.6 per cent only.

He said the Board had introduced sector-specific measures in the current financial year to deal with evasion in sectors such as pan masala/gutkha. We hope these and other similar measures initiated by the Department would help raise voluntary compliance, he said.

Of the overall indirect tax collections target of Rs 2.80 lakh crore in 2007-08, the budget estimate for customs duty was pegged at Rs 98,770 crore, service tax Rs 50,200 crore and central excise Rs 1,30,220 crore.

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