Finance minister P Chidambaram said on Thursday that the income tax departments efforts to tighten the noose on defaulters is beginning to yield result,with 10,000 of the 70,000 assessees that were sent letters by the department over the last two weeks having come forward to file their returns and settle their dues.
A polite letter was sent to 35,000 such persons in the first lot. Two weeks ago we have sent letters,another lot of 35,000 persons. Today letters are being issued to a third lot of 35,000 persons…these letters have had a salutary effect. Over 10,000 recipients,of the first two lots of letters,have filed their returns and paid their tax dues, Chidambaram told reporters here. He also assured the tax payers that the department may take a benign view of assessees volunteering to file returns and clear their dues and interest.
The minister also asked the assessees to pay their advance tax. The last date for the fourth instalment of the advance tax is March 15.
The tax authorities can take a benign view and waive the penalty. They have done so in numerous cases in the past. This is your opportunity to file your returns,pay your tax and interest,if any,and apply for waiver of penalty, he said.
He said 13.5 lakh returns have been filed between February 10 and March 10,an increase of over 15 per cent over 10.81 lakh returns filed during the corresponding period last year. Till March 10,2013,1.77 crore returns have been filed representing an increase of 35 per cent.
Economy will return to 7% growth within two years
Trying to dispel concerns over flagging growth,finance minister P Chidambaram on Thursday said the economy would return to a 7 per cent growth within two years.
He,however,warned that country can not sustain high fiscal deficit levels for long and said the government is committed to reducing it to 3 per cent by 2016-17.
We cannot sustain 5.2 per cent deficit. We have to bring it down, Chidambaram said while replying to a discussion on the Union Budget for the 2013-14 in the Lok Sabha.
Seeking support from all members of the House for fiscal consolidation,the finance minister said that the Budget has focussed on containing the fiscal deficit as it could lead to a economic disaster if left unchecked.
The Lok Sabha later passed relevant appropriation bills by voice vote completing the first stage of the budgetary exercise.