Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday expressed the hope that the government would meet its indirect tax collection target this year despite a slowing economy.
He, however, acknowledged the need for further efforts from the revenue department to meet the target of about Rs 3,93,000 crore.
The indirect tax collection figures up to January 2012 indicate some gains over last year. However, further efforts are required to ensure that the targeted collections for the current fiscal are met, Mukherjee said at an event to confer Presidential awards to the officers of customs and excise. I am confident that the department would not spare any efforts in meeting these targets. Indirect tax collections at the end of last month stood at Rs 3,17,233 crore -- an increase of 15 per cent over the last year period.
As for the central excise, it stood at Rs 1,17,730 crore by growing at 6.8 per cent over the corresponding period of previous year. In the recent months, however, excise collections have shown a dip.
Services tax and custom duty collections in the ten-month period showed a growth of 37 and 12.7 per centage respectively.
Direct tax collections, on the other hand, are expected to fall short of the target of Rs 5,32,00 crore by a huge margin. The collections so far are at about Rs 3,60,000 crore, leaving the department with a huge task of collecting over Rs 1,70,000 crore in the last 40 days of the financial year.
Mukherjee also said India, with the proposed introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), was at the door-step of the most significant reform in the countrys history of indirect taxes. The GST is expected to be a more efficient system of taxation, he said, adding it is likely to give a boost to the tax revenues of the Centre and the states.
We are working with the state governments for an early implementation of the GST, the finance minister added. Towards this end, an IT network called GSTN is being created to ensure integration of the tax systems of the Centre and the states. Once implemented, the GST will bring about a paradigm shift in the arena of indirect taxation in the country.
Finance Secretary R S Gujral also said there was a good momentum on the GST front, the implementation of which required the concurrence of the states.