With the rollout of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and a number of other rules being tweaked, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi led NDA government was targetting an environment that would be easier for the aam aadmi to negotiate as the hurdles faced would be much lesser. Speaking at the Income Tax Day celebrations at Delhi’s Vigyan Bhawan, Jaitley revealed, “Series of steps taken by the government are intended to widen the tax base, eliminate corruption and incentivise the honest tax payers.” Indicating the government’s agenda on this issue, Jaitley added, “We will ensure transparency, simplicity in the process and minimum possible direct interface between assessees and Income Tax department officers.” This was to tamper fears that the increasing role seen for the taxmen may lead to a crackdown that would hurt sentiment.
Speaking on the backdrop of the debate generated by debates on Aadhaar, which is being currently heard by the Supreme Court on whether privacy is a fundamental right, he added that it should not be regarded as an excuse not to comply with one’s legal obligation on matters related to tax, IANS report said.
“Taxes are the backbone of any economy. In India, the mindset of the people on taxes is gradually changing and they want that no one should be exempt from tax,” Jaitley was quoted as saying by the agency further.
Lawyers, politicians and activitists have questioned the Centre over the legal basis of the Aadhaar priogramme, even as the apex court will decide on whether the system should be modified or thrown out, IANS report added.