India to double tax base during 2014-19, says Arun Jaitley; this many people will file income tax this FY : 30-10-2018

India will double its tax base during Narendra Modi’s 5-year term of 2014-2019, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Tuesday. Earlier about 3.8 crore people were filing income tax, which has risen to 6.8 crore people at present, Arun Jaitley said at an event. India is expected to see approximately 7.5 crore taxpayers by the end of this financial year 2019, he added, while speaking at the U.S. India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF).

“My own estimation is that from 2014 to 2019, we will be almost very close to doubling our tax base, which is a five-year period to do is quite difficult…When we took over there were 3.8 crore people who gave an income tax return … In four years, it has already moved up to about 6.8 crore and I am sure this year it will be very close to 7.5-7.6 figure which is almost doubling it,” Jaitley said.

Notably, in the April- September period, the net direct tax collection (after adjusting for refunds) went about 14% higher to Rs 4.44 lakh crore, while gross direct tax collection (includes refunds) rose 16.7% to Rs 5.47 lakh crore, providing a little relief to the economy from a budget deficit. Tax refunds also came in at Rs 1.03 lakh crore, an increase of 30.4% on a year-on-year basis.

“That is the result of all these changes- the new indirect tax structure, the improvement in the direct tax structure…So the revenues went up…this gave us the flexibility to take a departure from the past where they were only pro-poor slogans,” he noted. While talking about the implementation of Goods and Service Tax(GST), Jaitley said that there were no protests against the move and in the first year, the number of indirect tax assesses increased by 74%.

On the demonetisation move of the Narendra Modi-led government. On demonetisation, Jaitley said that the step was difficult, but helped the central government to make its intention clear on formalisation of the economy. He added that the developments such as the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) and demonetisation have brought about moral quotient, which was badly needed in India.

(Detailed copy follows soon)

Source : Financial Express

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