Committed to widen tax base in India, says Jaitley
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday said the Narendra Modi-led government is committed to widen the tax base by 'incentivising' new tax payers.
Jaitley who headed the meet spoke of the initiatives of the Income Tax Department past two to three years.
Highlighting the initiatives, the finance ninister said that Direct Tax Revenue Collections up to September 18, 2017 in the FY18 rose to Rs 3.7 lakh crore with a growth of 15.7%. "Rate of tax for individuals having income of Rs 2.5 lakhs to Rs.5 lakhs was reduced from 10% to 5%, which is one among the lowest in the world," he added.
Jaitley further said that the concept of 'no scrutiny' was introduced for the First Time Non-Business Tax Payers having income up to Rs. 5 lakhs so that more and more people are encouraged to join the tax net and file their IT returns and pay the due amount of taxes.
Highlighting the other initiatives of the income Tax Department, Jaitley said that corporate tax was reduced to 25% for companies with turn-over up to Rs. 50 crore thereby covering almost 96% of the companies.
On E-Governance, said that 97% of the income tax returns were filed electronically this year, out of which 92% returns were processed within 60 days and 90% refunds were also issued within 60 days.
The Finance Minister further said that the Income Tax Department also introduced Grievance Redressal System- E-Nivaran which integrated all the online and paper grievances and tracks them till their resolution. Every grievance is acknowledged and resolution is intimated through email and SMS. The Finance Minister said that 84% of 4.65 lakh E-Nivaran grievances have been resolved so far.
As far as the drive against black money is concerned, the Income-tax Department has taken various initiatives since the present Government came to power. In this regard, the finance minister mentioned about the enactment of the Black Money Act, 2015, Comprehensive Amendments to the Benami Act 1988 and Operation Clean Money among others.
Jaitley said that after the intense follow-up of demonetization data from 9th November 2016 to 10th January, 2017, about 1100 searches were made resulting into seizure of Rs. 610 crore including cash of Rs. 513 crore. He said that undisclosed income of Rs. 5400 crore was detected and about 400 cases have been referred to ED and CBI for án appropriate action.
Jaitley added that the number of tax payers increased from 4.72 crore in financial year 2012-13 to 6.26 crore during the Financial Year 2016-17.