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Government to miss direct tax mopup target for third year
September, 24th 2015

The government is unlikely to meet the direct tax collection target for the third year running and the finance minister's plan to expand the tax base by a crore will also not be met, according to junior I-T officials. The target for 2015-16 is Rs 797,995 crore. The collection until September 21 was Rs 286,766 crore.

The junior officers, who have been demanding promotions held up for 15 years and filling up of vacant positions, say the department is severely short-staffed with 30 per cent positions lying vacant. A joint council of action (JCA) of Income Tax Employees' Federation and Income Tax Gazetted Officers' Association, which together claim to represent 97 per cent of the department employees, has been observing non-cooperation since September 9 and plans to strike work on October 8 if their demands are not met. JCA president Ajay Goyal said the government had agreed to an overhaul of the department and the Cabinet had approved a proposal to raise the workforce by 20,751 in May 2013. That has not happened yet.

Goyal said officials had stopped work on expanding the tax base for the past two weeks and deadlines for scrutiny assessments remain unmet. He said they will also stop sending all reports except statutory reports to the Central Board of Direct Taxes.

Collections have consistently fallen short of targets for three years. In 2014-15 the original target of Rs 7.98 lakh crore was initially revised down to Rs 7.36 lakh crore and then to Rs 7.05 lakh crore. It could, however, only collect Rs 6.96 lakh crore.

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