The government on Tuesday said that it will “identify bad elements in the tax department” so that the investment climate is not impacted by them.
“Identifying bad elements in tax department and taking care of them will be a priority… We will be just and fair in all tax-related decisions,” revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia told reporters here as he rejected the notion of “tax terror” being prevalent in the country.
In his first interaction with the reporters, the new revenue secretary elaborated on his priorities for the department and said that he would work towards ending the malpractices to improve the tax administration while simplifying the procedures by using technology.
“I don’t think there is any tax terror kind of a thing. Every department will have good and bad elements. It’s not that I’m saying only in the tax department… we would bring in transparency in the tax department through the use of technology,” Adhia said.
The 1981-batch Gujarat cadre official was earlier holding the charge of secretary, department of financial services.
“We would like to identify certain bad elements in the department because of whom the department has got a bad name and we would like to sort of take care of those elements so that they do not any more spoil the business environment,” the revenue secretary said.
The secretary joins at a time when the department is dealing with controversial issues like the levy of minimum alternate tax on foreign institutional investors (FIIs) and implementation of the proposed goods and services tax (GST). He replaces Shaktikanta Das, who took charge as the secretary, department of economic affairs on Tuesday.
In a major bureaucratic reshuffle, while Das was made the economic affairs secretary, Ratan Watal, the expenditure secretary, was given the charge of the finance secretary. Ex-finance secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, who was due to retire on August 31, was made the home secretary hours before his retirement, replacing LC Goyal, who has been made the chairman of ITPO. Anjali Chib Duggal, who was secretary corporate affairs, took charge of the department of financial services on Tuesday.
Further, Adhia said that he would review the preparedness of the Centre and state governments in implementing the GST, which is scheduled to be rolled out from April 1 next year.
“Whenever the Constitution amendment bill is passed, whenever the GST central act is passed, we should be ready with the preparedness part of it. I would go from state to state to see if they are ready for the implementation,” he added. Adhia in his capacity as finance secretary, Gujarat, was closely involved with the GST.
The revenue secretary also extended support for whistleblowers and said the information would be kept confidential.