Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia has sent a terse missive to the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) chairman Atulesh Jindal seeking an explanation for a likely shortfall in direct tax collections in 2015-16.
This comes after the government had sharply lowered its direct tax target for 2015-16 by Rs 45,974 crore in the Union Budget last month, but is unlikely to meet even this revised target.
In a letter dated March 23, Adhia has expressed his disappointment to the CBDT chairman for “laxity shown” by field officers in collection of taxes, despite a reduction in revenue target in the Budget presented last month.
“The CBDT requested for reduction in BE target which was done. In spite of that, it now appears to me that RE target may also not be achieved. If this happens, Board and field functionaries will have to explain why it happened. Responsibility will also have to be fixed,” the letter to the CBDT head said.
While presenting Union Budget for 2016-17 last month, finance minister Arun Jaitley had revised downwards the estimate for direct taxes to Rs 7,52,021 crore from Rs 7,97,995 crore estimated earlier for the financial year ending March 31.
The estimates for indirect taxes, on the other hand, were revised upwards due to which the gross tax revenue target for 2015-16 was revised upwards to Rs 14,59,611 crore from Rs 14,49,490 crore estimated earlier.
In his letter to the CBDT head, the revenue secretary has further stated that it will not be possible to achieve the tax targets without day-to-day supervision and constant communication.
“You must show your leadership and see to it that the RE targets are achieved fully,” the letter said. Both the revenue secretary and the CBDT chairman did not respond to e-mail queries regarding the letter. The official CBDT spokesperson told The Indian Express that the query will be communicated to the CBDT chairman. A response was, however, awaited till the time of going to print.