Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal Friday advised tax officers to not be overzealous in tax administration, while appealing the industry to conduct business ethically, reported PTI.
While addressing the Central Board of Indirect Taxes (CBIC) officers on the occasion of International Customs Day, the finance minister asked the tax officers to consider crowdsourcing of feedback from stakeholders as to what more could be done towards adopting a taxpayer-friendly approach by the department.
Goyal, who was given the additional charge of Finance Ministry, asked the taxmen to trust the customers with a great degree of intelligence, while adopting a customer-friendly approach.
“After all, we are here to do a job, to ensure that the revenues of the government, which are rightfully due to be collected and which go to serve the poor of India, to create infrastructure, which go to develop security for our borders should not be lost. No revenue should be lost,” he was quoted as saying by PTI.
“At this stage, I can … appeal to the business community that it is time to do business ethically and straight. Those days are gone when there was era of very high taxes, very high import duties, very high indirect and direct taxes, which caused people to look at different avenues to skip taxes,” Goyal added.
He said that the actions of a few people cause trouble to a much larger set of people, adding that it is not always that bureaucrats or people in power are engaged in wrongdoing but it is the “few black sheep”, who cause the generalisation in the society or in the public mind that things are not going right.
“Very often in the over-enthusiasm of tax administration, we become overzealous also and that causes a lot of agony, particularly to the honest taxpayer.
“Similarly, when people talk about administration of different departments of the government, bureaucracy, it’s very unfortunate that all are brushed in the same language,” Goyal said.
Asking the tax officers to collectively recognise responsibility, Goyal said “each one of us as an individual represents 80,000 officers, each one of us will have to recognise that my actions are going to reflect on the image of 79,999 colleagues”.