Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee has asked Indian Revenue Service officials to consider tax payers as important stakeholders in nation building and to administer taxes with a human approach. He was addressing the 63rd batch of IRS trainees last evening.

Shri Mukherjee pointed out that the shift in policy whereby tax payers are not seen as adversaries has resulted in a significant growth in tax collection during the past decade. He asked the trainee officers to imbibe this approach in their daily working.

The Finance Minister said that direct taxes collection has increased by ten times during the past decade. He also pointed out that the share of direct taxes is now more than 55 %.

The Finance Minster reminded the officials that it was due to increased tax buoyancy and collection efforts of Revenue departments that the government was able to waive off the loans to farmers amounting to Rs 71,000 crores.

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  1. BIDUP says:

    It is very heartening to read that: the Hon’ble and kindly Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee has asked Indian Revenue Service officials to consider tax payers as important stakeholders in nation building and to administer taxes with a human approach, while addressing the 63rd batch of IRS trainees last evening.
    But, all this sadly will go waste for two reasons: (1) unbridled corruption and greed and (2) adopting all unscrupulous and heartless steps taken by the officials, mostly illegal, to advance their career prospects. There is no machinery for checking harassment and illegal action taken by officials.

    For example, in a particular case of a SALARIED employee, the A.O in a Delhi Salary Circle mercilessly attached the bank account of the person (with a credit balance of Rs. 16 lacs), without ever verifying and ascertaining that the said person had already expired. His family did not know anything, and the legal heirs were also never served any notice whatsoever by the AO, while the dead tax payer had perhaps 2-3 daughters who hardly knew about the the bank balance of their father. The A.O attached the bank account either to harass or merely to be able to show his “brilliant work” in his annual appraisal report the fact of the revenue collected so that he could get an OUTSTANDING category. Is the A.O legally authorised to attach the money in the bank without giving notices or letters to the dead assessee’s wife, sons and daughters concerned? Did he have any enquiries made as to why there was no response from the assessee and whether he ever served a notice by regd. Post to the assessee or his family before attaching the bank account? Did the Chief Commissioner or the Commissioner or the Additional Commissioner of Income Tax ever notice this high handed unilateral inhuman action taken by the AO? Is the Bank legally bound to comply with a notice issued to a deceased account holder and to it? In the light of the FM’s stand, one wonders as to, in such a case, where there is no body to proceed in the case to the next level that is CIT(A) or ITAT, what can be done? And, then, how come an A.O (all such cases are mostly of salaried persons) enjoys the liberty of attaching such a huge amount knowing full well that the person/account-holder is no more?

    What is strange is that bank accounts are attached in majority of cases in the months of February-March, without any prior opportunity given to the tax payers and without ever any evidence on record that the demand notices for all orders, all mainly ex parte, were actually served ON THE PERSON, either to extract money or to show to the bosses that the officer has collected revenue. Most often these cases pertain to salaried persons who over the years struggle hard in saving money and not spending for the sake of their uncertain future and their children’s future and here the Govt. is bent upon snatching their hardearned money. As the Govt. or these officers are not able to catch big fish, they simply are making small people like salaried employees and small traders scapegoats.

    In this background of a representative case of heartless harassment by the revenue department, it is indeed heartening to note the words of our FM who is indeed a good person, as much as the new Revenue Secretary and the present CBDT chairman. But will these words be of any use to lakhs and lakhs of hapless and unfortunate tax payers? There is a vigilance directorate in the IT department. Can there be a division exclusively to check the unfettered and excessive powers exercised by the IT department officers in the interest of tax payers?
    Can some retired, honest officers of the IRS voluntarily do this job, if asked by the FM?

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June 2021