Stern warnings to tax defaulters seem to have hit the target. The indirect tax collection in February grew significantly as compared to January with service tax showing an impressive jump of 44 per cent month-on-month while the customs duty collection rose 31 per cent, a government official told The Indian Express.
The service tax collection during February stood at Rs 10,453 crore as against Rs 7,255 crore in January, a rise of 44 per cent, while the customs duty collection stood at Rs 15,007 crore during the month as against Rs 11,406 crore in January.
"We have though been following non-adversarial approach but we are acting sternly against defaulters. We have been issuing warnings and have been urging the assessees to make timely and correct payment of customs and excise duty and service tax. This has started yielding results now," the official said.
The numbers are still adrift of the annual target which is Rs 1,32,697 crore for the year. At the end of February the target for service tax collection is still about 21 per cent short. Faced with a stiff target of revenue collection, the finance ministry has been asking all tax assessees to pay their taxes correctly and clear all their dues to avail of reduced penalty. In January, revenue secretary Sumit Bose had said that many assessees continue to indulge in under invoicing of imports and over invoicing of exports apart from misdeclaration of goods. He had warned that it is not difficult for the tax authorities to reach them who are evading tax payments.