Ministry to seek suggestions from field-level tax officials

New Delhi, November 3: | Updated: Nov 4 2001, 05:30am hrs
The Budget-making exercise for the next financial year is set to witness a balancing act between the demands of the tax payers and the concerns of the tax collectors at the field level.

Submission of Budget wishlist by the tax payers every year in the form of pre-Budget memorandum to the government is a routine affair. But for the first time, finance ministry has decided to seek suggestions formally from the field level officials on the proposals to be taken up in the Budget.

Revenue department sources said that the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) had already asked its officials to send their recommendations for the Budget for 2002-03. They said that the whole exercise would ensure that the concerns of the field level officials pertaining to various Budget proposals were addressed simultaneously.

According to them, accommodation of the suggestions of the tax collectors would prove to be a crucial input for ensuring compliance to important changes in the Budget for the current financial year which included transfer pricing and taxation of perquisites.

Officials said that installation of an effective monitoring mechanism to handle with the recent changes was a must, and those handling these provisions could be the best judge of what was required.

They added that the recommendations of the officials would help government in strengthening scrutiny of various returns filed by the income tax payers, and would lead to additional tax collection. Inputs of the tax officials would also help CBDT in making correct budget forecasting. This would be crucial as the board received flak from various quarters for missing the budget target by a substantial margin in 2000-01.

Officials said that there was an urgent need for making sincere efforts to make proper forecasting for budget collection taking into account all the relevant parameters. They said that the CBDT needed to built in its system the credible ways of making budget forecasting at al the levels starting from assessing officers to the chief commissioners level at periodic intervals so that it could look for alternative sectors/areas to boost collection in case forecasting did not appear favourable.