Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday asked taxmen to work towards registering even relatively small traders — with a turnover of below Rs 20 lakh — under the Goods and Service Tax (GST) system.
He also said that the government was working towards creation of an environment which shatters the confidence of the corrupt and instills confidence and trust among the honest taxpayer.
“In order to enable all traders to take maximum benefit of GST, we should work towards ensuring that all traders, including even those with a turnover below Rs 20 lakh, should register with the GST system,” he said while addressing the tax administrators of the Centre and states at a two-day ‘Rajasva Gyan Sangam’ organised here.
He asked the officers to make efforts in this regard by designing a system for this category.
Currently, traders with annual turnover of below Rs 20 lakh turnover need not register under GST as they are exempt from paying any indirect taxes.
More than 17 lakh new traders have been brought into the indirect tax system within two months, Modi said adding that GST besides economic integration helps in bringing transparency in the system.
The Prime Minister also asked officers to use data analytical tools to proactively track and determine undeclared income and wealth.
In this regard, he also suggested complete reworking of human resource management in the tax departments to strengthen the data analytics and investigation wing.
“Human interface must be kept to a minimum in the tax administration’s dealings. A push is to be given to ‘e-assessment’ and anonymity of proceedings using technology, so that vested interests do not impede the due course of law,” Modi said.
He further asserted that the honest cannot continue to pay the price for the misdeeds of the dishonest.
In this regard, he mentioned steps taken by the government, such as demonetisation and implementation of stringent laws against black money and benami property.
He said that though efforts to increase tax revenue are made by officers each year, the estimated amounts of tax that should accrue to the system, are often not realised.
“The Prime Minister asked officers to come up with a time-bound solution to ‘tax raised and not realised’,” a statement cited Modi as having said.
Modi also expressed his dismay at the huge pendency of tax-related cases in adjudication and appeal.
He said big sums of money locked up in these cases could have been used for the welfare of the poor and asked officers to come up with an action plan during the two-day ‘Rajasva Gyan Sangam’ to eliminate pendency.
Exhorting the officers to improve their work-culture, to incorporate both a “sense of urgency” and “measurability” in their performance, he asked them to fix clear targets to improve the country’s tax administration by 2022, the 75th anniversary of independence.
The two-day ‘Rajasva Gyan Sangam’ would come up with concrete ideas to improve the tax administration, he hoped.