One of the main reasons for poor growth is apparently the slow processing of returns, especially in the initial quarters. Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, Mumbai circle, P P Srivastava, had in a meeting held with senior officials on August 5, pointed out that as of April 1, almost 20 lakh returns were pending for processing. He had also said that in the first quarter (April to June) of 2010-2011 the department in Mumbai could process only 37,000 returns.
He had pointed out that compared to this almost 12 lakh returns were processed in the preceding quarter (January to March which was the last quarter of 2009-2010).
A senior I-T official said that slow processing of returns and assessment cases in the initial quarters puts pressure on officials in the last quarter. “Though we put all efforts in the last quarter, it was not enough to exceed the target,” the official said.
During a review meeting of tax collections in Mumbai recently, Mukherjee had said that revenue collection should be monitored effectively and special efforts made to achieve not only the budgeted target but also exceed it.
“We had information, but could not work on it as there was no staff to conduct raids,” a senior official from the department said.
Officials said the department would also take up controversial assessment cases in large numbers so that demand notices could be sent and tax collected.
The cases for assessment are automatically selected by the computer system, which studies the income and tax-paying patterns of an assessee.