The tax collecting departments should not hurt or harm the taxpayers. "It should be like bees drawing honey from flowers, without hurting the flowers," Mr P. Chidambaram, Union Minister of Finance, said.
Addressing officials of the Income Tax Department here on Friday after inaugurating the Rs 34.5-crore Income Tax Towers, he exhorted them to present a different and improved image of the department to the people.
The 2.5-acre 10-storeyed facility is the first centrally air-conditioned Central government department premises. It has a stand-alone five-level parking facility, adjacent to it.
Stating that the Department had initiated several measures to simplify the procedures, he said the idea was to encourage people to be tax-compliant.
Asking the spending departments to be careful while spending the money, he pointed out that people, willingly or not so willingly, paid taxes hoping that the monies would be spent wisely, prudently and efficiently.
Terming income tax as the tax of the future, he asked officials to make the taxpayers feel proud of paying taxes.
He commended the Andhra Pradesh division for recording high growth rates in tax collections. "In 2004-05, it collected Rs 4,800 crore. The following year, it collected Rs 6,780 crore and in 2006-07 it recorded collections to the tune of Rs 10,186 crore," he said.