Promising a non-adversarial tax regime, Revenue Secretary Shaktikanta Das today said the Black money law has to be stringent as the problem is “very serious” but those using the compliance windows would be given full protection and confidentiality and there was no question of harassment to anyone giving voluntary information at this stage.
“The information given in the compliance window is closely held ..we mean it. However, the Black Money law cannot be soft in addressing a serious problem,” Mr.Das said while addressing the Managing Committee Meeting of ASSOCHAM in New Delhi.
Delving on a range of issues concerning the proposed Goods and Services Tax, Participatory Notes, Issuance of Permanent Account Number for businesses, the Revenue Secretary said there is absolutely no atmosphere of any harassment or a raid raj etc. “Strict circulars have been issued for non-adversarial administration and implementation of the laws and procedures.”
He further informed that Government is in consultation with the SEBI and the RBI on P-notes related issue.
On the perception that 25 per cent or 27 per cent GST rate may be fixed, Mr Das said “no decision has been taken ..let me emphatically say.the rate will be decided by the GST Council to be chaired by the Finance Minister and comprising state finance ministers..So, whether it is going to be 25-27 per cent, that discussion should end.”
As for the levy of one per cent additional tax on the states which are developed in manufacturing, he said the measure is interim in nature for two-three years and was meant to bring on board all the states. It was expected that the revenue buoyancy would result from the GST and addition of 1-1.5 per cent to the GDP would also take place.
In the hope of getting a perfect GST law, there was no point in delaying the same.
“Best should not become enemy of the good,” he remarked.
Dealing with the issue of black money concerns, raised by the Special Investigation Team of the Supreme Court through P Notes in the stock market, Mr Das said while those concerns have been flagged off and the government is in the process of consultations, “It is no body’s intention to ban P Notes overnight. We know its consequences. Government will not do anything that undermines growth momentum.”
As regards delays in PAN No for the businesses, he said if the proof or residence and identity are given, the number is given for new businesses in just two days.
For avoiding inconvenience to the taxpayers, he said the procedure for scrutiny has been streamlined while the streamlining is being done in implementation as well. Only one per cent of the returns filed are picked up scrutiny.
He also informed that the Finance Ministry has commenced the internal exercises related to the Union Budget 2016-17.
In his welcome speech, ASSOCHAM Senior Vice President, Mr Sunil Kanoria flagged off the issues concerning the business community with regard to the taxation issues. He also urged the government to ensure that the implementation of the Black Money law should be done in a manner that does not harass the honest tax payers.