Revenue secretary exhorts officers to collect more GST, says rising cases of smuggling a sign of worry

Lucknow, Nov 26 : Noting that taxpayers continue to have some kind of fear and anxiety towards both the direct tax and indirect tax departments, Revenue Secretary Tarun Bajaj on Friday asked the officers to bridge the gap between the taxpayers and the tax collectors.

Speaking at Investiture ceremony of Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) in Lucknow, Bajaj said that if the officers instill confidence among taxpayers that only their actual income would be taxed and they would not be harassed then the objective of higher tax base and tax revenue would be achieved.

“Every time I meet officers and talk to the Chairman of the CBDT (Central Board of Direct Taxes) and the CBIC my focus is on making life easy for taxpayers which is very important and secondly how to increase our tax base and how to increase our tax revenue,” he said.

“So in the coming budget also I would encourage each one of you, if you have any suggestions on these two areas, you should actually send them down to me or Chairman and we will definitely consider that,” he told revenue officers.

Bajaj also exhorted the officers to increase GST collection in coming months and exceed the previous month’s record collection of Rs 1.3lakh crores.

“While we crossed the figures of Rs 1.3 lakh crore in the last month, it was a quarterly month. So we had the quarterly returns and the revenue that comes along with the quarterly returns. But I have actually given a challenge to the (CBIC) Chairman which he has gladly accepted and yesterday also he was assuring me that he will definitely achieve that which is that we should actually collect more money than we collected in the last month,” the top Finance Ministry official said.

Bajaj said that higher GST numbers give a boost to the economy and the country as a whole and everyone feels that the economy is growing.

“When I meet the industrialists and financial captains from Mumbai they actually tell me that when the figures of GST come out there is a feeling among them that yes the time is now coming for them to carry on their investments, to invest more, to employ more people. It gives further boost to the economy. I will encourage you to do the good work that you are doing,” said the revenue secretary.

He also highlighted the increase in the number of cases of smuggling and asked officers to beef up information collection mechanisms.

“There is a greater need for us to be more cautious of what is happening. The very fact that the number of smuggling cases have gone up itself is a sign for us to worry. It’s a sign for us to be more cautious and more aware of what is happening around us, to have better information collection mechanism, to continuously improve our RMS system. This not only has the dimension of economy but also to the security of the nation. It’s very important for us to do far more than what we are doing,” Bajaj said.


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