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Note ban led to 15.7% increase in direct tax collections: Jaitley

Jaitley also added that undisclosed income of Rs 5,400 cr was also detected

IANS  |  New Delhi 

(Photo courtesy: Twitter/@BJP4India)
(Photo courtesy: Twitter/@BJP4India)

Listing out the benefits of demonetisation, Union Minister on Friday said that direct collections had risen 15.7 per cent till September 18, adding that undisclosed of Rs 5,400 crore was also detected.

"Net collections up to September 18 in the current financial year rose to Rs 3.7 lakh crore, a growth of 15.7 per cent. The collections in case of direct taxes rose to Rs 8,49,818 crore during 2016-17, a growth of 14.5 per cent," he said while highlighting the impact of November 8 and the proactive initiatives of the Department.

Jaitley was addressing the Consultative Committee of the Ministry 'Initiatives of the Department' here.

The Minister said the number of taxpayers increased significantly from 4.72 crore in 2012-13 to 6.26 crore during 2016-17.

"As far as the drive against black money is concerned, the department has taken various initiatives since this government came to power. After the intense follow-up of data from November 9, 2016, to January 10, 2017, about 1,100 searches were made, resulting in the seizure of Rs 610 crore, including Rs 513 crore in

Undisclosed of Rs 5,400 crore was detected and about 400 cases referred to the Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for appropriate action," he said.

In this regard, the Minister mentioned the enactment of the Black Money Act, 2015, comprehensive amendments to the Benami Act of 1988 and 'Operation Clean Money'.

Jaitley said the department has taken various initiatives in the last 2-3 years to bring about efficiency, transparency, and fairness in administration.

The Minister said a Single Page ITR-1 (SAHAJ) Form was introduced for taxpayers with annual up to Rs 50 lakh.

"The rate of for individuals with of Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh was reduced from 10 per cent to 5 per cent, one of the lowest in the world," he added.

Jaitley said the concept of 'no scrutiny' was introduced for the first time non-business taxpayers with incomes of up to Rs 5 lakh so that more and more people were encouraged to come under the net and file their I-T returns.

He said corporate was reduced to 25 per cent for companies with turnover of up to Rs 50 crore, thereby covering almost 96 per cent of the companies.

The new manufacturing companies incorporated on or after March 1, 2016, were given an option to be taxed at 25 per cent without deduction. The Minimum Alternate (MAT) credit was allowed to be carried forward up to 15 years, instead of 10 years, as part of procedural reforms.

In the field of e-governance, the Minister said that 97 per cent of the returns were filed electronically this year, of which 92 per cent were processed within 60 days and 90 per cent refunds issued within 60 days.

"Grievance redressal system -- e-nivaran -- was introduced, which integrates all online and paper grievances and tracks them till their resolution. Every grievance is acknowledged and resolution intimated through emails and SMSes. Eighty-four per cent of 4.65 lakh e-nivaran grievances have been resolved so far," he said.

Jaitley said that the e-governance initiatives of the Department have helped in having minimum direct interface between assessing authorities and assesses, which in turn helped in minimising harassment, curbing corruption, and saving time.

He highlighted other department initatives as far as ease of doing business and promoting financial markets were concerned. He specifically mentioned the introduction of presumptive taxation scheme for professionals with incomes of up to Rs 50 lakh.

The Minister said India had entered into collaboration with 148 countries on exchange of information on matters and with 39 countries on criminal matters.

He said changes in the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements with Mauritius and Singapore have been incorporated to allow for source-based taxation of capital gains on shares and interest of banks.

In order to promote less-economy and digital transactions, the Minister said, various initiatives were taken, including penalty for receipt of Rs 2 lakh or more, reducing limit for donation to charitable trusts from Rs 10,000 to Rs 2,000 and to Rs 2,000 to political parties.

The Consultative Committee members gave suggestions to improve both collections and overall performance of the department.

First Published: Fri, September 29 2017. 20:53 IST