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Sunday, November 29, 2020

FM Sitharaman: In-time compliance needs to be promoted … welfare activity of govt shouldn’t suffer

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also stressed on the need for more digital transactions so that they are monitorable and the gross domestic product (GDP) is not underestimated.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi | November 7, 2020 1:26:58 am
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman attends the National Tax Conference at North Block, on Friday. (PTI)

Citing the importance of revenue generation for a government with an aim to widen the tax net without burdening the taxpayers, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said in-time compliance needs to be promoted as a steady trickle of revenues will ensure welfare activities of the government do not suffer.

She also stressed on the need for more digital transactions so that they are monitorable and the gross domestic product (GDP) is not underestimated.

“Can there be any more important exercise than revenue generation for a government, because if you are looking at wanting to serve the people, particularly those who are in extremities like far flung areas, or those who are really poor or need help, if the government has to have money to serve them, the government also has to generate a lot more income.

“The government has to generate a lot more income without burdening the taxpayers … it has to widen the tax net, reduce the tax burden and tax incidence and, therefore, in-time compliances need to be promoted. In-time compliance of taxation is to be promoted and that is the role wherein tax practitioners come to become the link between the government and the assesses and you have a critical role,” she said at an online session of a tax conference organised by the All India Federation of Tax Practitioners.

She also asked tax practitioners to plan their calendar well so that “neither clients nor Government of India is put under any kind of unnecessary duress” and there will be “steady trickles so that welfare activity of the government does not suffer”.

The government’s revenues have been hit due to exacerbation of the economic slowdown due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Tax revenue declined by 21.6 per cent to Rs 7.2 lakh crore in April-September. The Centre had budgeted Rs 24.4 lakh crore as gross tax collections for the ongoing financial year.

The Finance Minister said digital transactions will help in not underestimating the real GDP.

“… so much is happening but it is not taken into consideration whereas each of these transactions is brought under a monitorable network, your GDP calculation can be so closer to the actual strength of the Indian economy. So the more we promote digital payment, the more we make every transaction monitorable,” she said.

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