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Launch special drive to identify tax evaders: Parl Panel
April, 25th 2012

A Parliamentary panel has asked the government to launch a special drive to identify tax evaders and tap new areas to increase indirect tax collections.

In its report, the Standing Committee on Finance has said the indirect tax collection in 2011-12 was not encouraging.

"The percentage growth of overall indirect tax collections during 2011-12 over the last year is only 14.62 percent whereas it was 40.66 percent during 2010-11," the report tabled in Parliament on Tuesday said.

The committee said that every effort should be made towards mobilising additional revenue but at the same time it should be ensured that "genuine tax payer is not harassed in any manner by the income tax authorities".

"The committee would like the Department of Revenue to launch a special drive to identify tax evaders and tap new areas to increase the indirect tax collections," it said.

It also said that the finance ministry may also consider giving incentives to those tax payers who are paying advance tax on time as this would encourage those tax payers who shirk to pay advance tax in time.

The report said that as the contribution of service sector to the tax revenue is far below its potential, the government should "shift the focus to stricter enforcement by plugging the loopholes and leakages to further enhance the service tax collections".

"... Take stringent penal measures in order to inculcate fear among the defaulters," it added.

The Committee also suggested to conduct a study on the trends of advance tax payment system and other factors giving rise to huge refunds in order to ascertain as to "who are the major claimants for refunds".

Expressing concern over the pathetic manpower shortage at CBEC and CBDT, it said that both the departments should formulate a policy in this regard.

It also raised its voice against the slow recovery of arrears.

"... Recovery of arrears is moving at a very slow pace in both the departments ... (it) warrants an effective and pro-active steps by the government".

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