Tax is the money that ordinary citizens are forced to give to the government thieves who squander that money at will. ~ Rakesh Raman
India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, inaugurated Friday the Rajasva Gyan Sangam in New Delhi, and addressed the tax administrators of both the Union and State Governments.
The Prime Minister exhorted the officers to improve their work-culture, to incorporate both a “sense of urgency”, and “measurability”, in their performance.
Mentioning the benefits of the GST, the Prime Minister said that besides economic integration of the country, and transparency in the system; more than 17 lakh new traders have been brought into the indirect tax system within two months.
He said that in order to enable all traders to take maximum benefit of GST, we should work towards ensuring that all traders, including even relatively smaller traders with a turnover below Rs. 20 lakhs, should register with the GST system. He asked the officers to make efforts in this regard by designing a system for this category.
The Prime Minister asked the officers to fix clear targets to improve the country’s tax administration by 2022, the 75th anniversary of independence.
He said that the Union Government is working towards creation of an environment which shatters the confidence of the corrupt, and instills confidence and trust among the honest taxpayer.
In this regard, he mentioned steps taken by the Union Government, such as demonetization, and implementation of stringent laws against black money and benami property.
Modi said human interface must be kept to a minimum in the tax administration’s dealings. He asked for a push to be given to “e-assessment” and anonymity of proceedings using technology, so that vested interests do not impede the due course of law.
Rhetoric and Reality
There is a huge gap between Modi’s rhetoric and reality in the tax department. Bureaucrats treat ordinary citizens as slaves like Britishers did with Indians in the colonial era.
Modi wants to minimize human interface, but finance minister Arun Jaitley and his team have no regard for Modi’s advice, as they insist on calling citizens to their offices while corruption is increasing. Read the full story.
Narendra Modi expressed his dismay at the huge pendency of tax-related cases in adjudication and appeal. He said big sums of money that is locked up in these cases, could have been used for the welfare of the poor. He asked officers to come up with an action plan during the Rajasva Gyan Sangam, to eliminate pendency.
He hoped that the two-day Gyan Sangam would come up with concrete ideas to improve the tax administration.
Photo courtesy: Press Information Bureau
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