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Indirect tax collection target set at Rs 3.2 lakh cr in 2008-09
May, 24th 2008

The Government has set Rs 3.2 lakh crore as the target for indirect tax collection during 2008-09, entailing mop-up of Rs 877 crore a day, said Mr P.C. Jha, Chairman, Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), Ministry of Finance.

Delivering the lecture New Paradigm in Revenue Collection at a function organised by the All India Importers and Exporters Association, Mr Jha said indirect tax collection in 2008 exceeded the target by Rs 2,500 crore to touch Rs 2.79 lakh crore.

Taxpayers grievances need to be treated with courtesy while it is the duty of the aggrieved party to take its issues to the highest authority if they are not resolved satisfactorily, he said.

Admitting shortcomings in the department, Mr Jha said the role of revenue collectors should be more of a facilitator than an administrator.

Mr Mohan H. Nihalani, President, All India Importers and Exporters Association, said taxpayers should not remain silent sufferers but at the same time should not shy away from paying tax according to the law.

Eliminating Middlemen

Although customs has achieved 55 per cent computerisation, the excise department was lagging.

The Government has given approval for computerising the excise department.

The work has begun and you will witness a sea-change in six months, Mr Jha said.

The crux of the computerisation programme is to gradually reduce and eliminate the role of the middleman.

Highlighting the revolution ushered in by large taxpayer units (LTU), Mr Jha said a company with 26 factories in 26 places in Bangalore can deal with all its tax liability at a single LTU in the city.

Differences

Mr H.O. Tiwari, Chief Commissioner of Customs Zone, Mumbai, felt that special tax treatments complicate the tax collection process.

In textiles, he said, the Government had given tax sops to handloom and power loom, singling out mills. When mills started feeling the tax burden, the anomaly was corrected.

There is a difference of opinion on GST (Goods and Service Tax) among economists; the ideal measure would be to cap GST at the lowest possible rate and remove all the special tax treatments, he said.

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