Revenue Secy pulls up CBDT; seeks IT dept’s accountability

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New Delhi, April 1: Concerned over an expected glaring shortfall in direct taxes collection this fiscal, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia has written a blunt letter to the CBDT even as he sought “fixing responsibility” in the event the job remains unaccomplished.

The top Finance Ministry officer has expressed his “disappointment” in a recent letter to Central Board of Direct Taxes Chairman Atulesh Jindal, saying the field offices of the Income Tax department have shown “laxity” in this work.

“First of all, the CBDT requested for reduction of budget estimate target which was done. Inspite of that, it now appears to me that revised estimate target may also not be achieved. If this happens Board and field functionaries would have to explain why it happened.

“Responsibility will also have to be fixed,” Adhia wrote on March 23 to Jindal.

A senior Finance Ministry official, on the last day of the 2015-16 financial year today said, it is expected that a shortfall of about Rs 40,000 crore could be registered in net direct taxes collection.

“Today is the last day. We still do not have the final figures for the total direct taxes collection during this fiscal,” the official said.

The Revenue Secretary, in the letter, has also sought Jindal’s immediate intervention in achieving the target.

“Without day-to-day supervision and constant communication with Chief Commissioners and Commissioners of Income Tax it would not be possible to achieve the targets. As Chairman CBDT you must show your leadership and see to it that revised estimate targets are achieved fully,” the letter said.

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Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, during his budget speech last month, had revised the estimate for direct taxes to about Rs 7.52 lakh crore from Rs 7.98 lakh crore.

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