Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday exhorted tax officers of the country to improve their work-culture and to incorporate both a “sense of urgency” and “measurability” in their performance.
Addressing tax administrators of both Union and State governments at the Rajasva Gyan Sangam, an annual conference of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), Prime Minister Modi asked the officers to fix clear targets to improve the country’s tax administration by 2022, the 75th anniversary of independence.
The Prime Minister expressed dismay at pendency of tax-related cases in adjudication and appeal. He stated that this money could have been used for the welfare of the poor and requested the tax officers to formulate an action plan during the the Rajasva Gyan Sangam, to eliminate pendency.
Speaking on the benefits of the GST tax system, the Prime Minister highlighted the economic integration of the country as well as introduction of transparency in the system. Additionally, more than 17 lakh new traders have been brought into the indirect tax system within the last two months. The PM further added that tax officers should design a system to ensure that all traders including relatively smaller traders with runovers below Rs. 20 lakh should register with the GST system.
Prime Minister Modi said that the Union Government is working towards creation of an environment which shatters the confidence of the corrupt, and instills confidence and trust among the honest taxpayer.
In this regard, he mentioned steps taken by the Union Government, such as demonetization, and implementation of stringent laws against black money and benami property.
In an effort to promote minimal human interface in tax administration dealings, the Prime Minister propagated the use of e-assessment and anonymity of proceedings using technology, so that vested interests do not impede the due course of law.
The Prime Minister said human interface must be kept to a minimum in the tax administration’s dealings. He asked for a push to be given to “e-assessment” and anonymity of proceedings using technology, so that vested interests do not impede the due course of law.
The Prime Minister asked officers to use data analytical tools to proactively track and determine undeclared income and wealth. He said that though efforts to increase tax revenue are made by officers each year, the estimated amounts of tax that should accrue to the system are often not realised.
The Prime Minister asked officers to come up with a time-bound solution to ‘tax raised and not realised’, and asserted that the honest cannot continue to pay the price for the misdeeds of the dishonest.
Suggesting a complete reworking of human resource management in the tax departments to strengthen the data analytics and investigation wing, Prime Minister Modi hoped that the two-day Gyan Sangam would come up with concrete ideas to improve the tax administration.