Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday asked the top brass of the Income Tax department to focus on capturing the unaccounted wealth in certain sectors of the domestic economy to boost direct tax collections, which is constrained by huge amounts of tax refunds.
While receipts from corporate, personal income and wealth taxes up to October 20 grew by 13.6% to R3.8 lakh crore on a gross basis, net receipts grew by less than 5% from a year ago to Rs 2.97 lakh crore as the department cleared the backlog of tax refunds. Tax officials are trying to collect R7.4 lakh crore of direct taxes this year.
A refund of R80,850 crore has so far been made this year, said an official release quoting finance minister Arun Jaitley. According to sources, the government had in 2013-14 relied partly on calibrating the management of refunds to restrict fiscal deficit to 4.6%.
The statement said that the minister asked officials to chase those sectors where domestic black money is most prevalent. The magnitude of unaccounted wealth within the country is much higher than what is kept abroad by some Indians, it said.