Faced with a formidable task of collecting Rs 9.32 lakh crore taxes during the fiscal ending March 31, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said he is exerting pressure on revenue officials to improve realisation.
“I am putting pressure on my colleagues in the CBEC, CBDT …and on my behalf Secretary (Revenue) is continously breathing (down) their neck to improve revenue because our demand and requirement is much more,” he said.
He was addressing the retired and serving officers of CBEC and representatives of trade and industry at a function to celebrate 50 years of the enactment of the Customs Act. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) is responsible for collection of direct taxes to the tune of Rs 5.32 lakh crore and the Central Board of Customs and Excise (CBEC) has been tasked to realise Rs 3.98 lakh crore this fiscal.
Meanwhile, CBEC chairman S K Goel expressed confidence in meeting the target given to his Board. He said till December, the indirect tax collection was about 70 per cent of Budget target. Amid slowdown in industrial activities due to global factors and high domestic interest rates, revenue collections have come under pressure.
The government needs maximum revenue to contain the widening fiscal deficit, which is likely to shoot up due to higher subsidy bill and poor disinvestment receipts. The government had projected the fiscal deficit at 4.6 per cent of the GDP in 2011-12.
On the occasion, Revenue Secretary R S Gujral said the Finance Ministry was in the process of expediting the cadre review of the Customs department and some decision was expected in a month’s time.