Indirect tax collections to exceed Budget target: FM

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New Delhi, Feb 24 (UNI) Notwithstanding the sluggish growth of excise duty, Finance Minister P Chidambaram today exuded confidence that indirect tax collections would exceed the budget target of Rs 2,79,000 crores for the current fiscal.

"I am confident that the budget targets (for indirect tax collections) would exceed this year too," Finance Minister P Chidambaram said at an investiture ceremony of Presidential appreciation certificates for the officers of Central Excise, Customs and Narcotics Departments here.

The Finance Minister noted that indirect tax collections exceeded the budget target by Rs 8,615 crore in the 2005-06 fiscal and in 2006-07 the target was surpassed by Rs 11,300 crores.

In line with this, Mr Chidambaram said the Departments concerned were given Rs 86 crores and Rs 113 crores for these two years to provide better service conditions to their officials as part of the scheme to give one per cent of excess collections for this purpose.

The Finance Minister said excess collections would enable the government to give one per cent of the surplus to the concerned Departments.

Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) Chairman S K Shingal expressed concern at the sluggish growth rate of excise duty collections.

UNI GS SG RN1549

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