Finance minister P Chidambaram has summoned his top tax administrators for a meeting at the end of this month, even as policymakers grapple to garner revenues in a slowing economy hit by high prices, low incomes and plunging exports.
This will be the second conference of I-T chief commissioners in the same financial year, a rare occurrence, the previous one having been held in June during Pranab Mukherjee's regime.
"The minister wants to meet all chief commissioners to take stock of the situation and to discuss in detail various aspects right from collection to strategy formulation," a finance ministry source said.
The collection target of direct taxes, which contribute around 56% of the Centre's total tax revenues, stands at Rs. 5.70 lakh crore in 2012-13, which is 15% more than the actual collections in 2011-12.
In the last fiscal, the I-T department collected Rs. 4.95 lakh crore, which was marginally short of revised estimates of Rs. 5 lakh crore.
According to a source, the finance minister wants to discuss the hurdles in tax collection and discuss the existing action plan, along with the issue of black money, at the meeting."There is a possibility that he may suggest some changes in the present action plan," the source said.
Prior to the conference the acting chairman of central board of direct taxes (CBDT) will review region-wise tax collection and recovery.
Apart from tax evasion, settlement of tax disputes will be another area of discussion. "Rising litigation with taxpayers and huge amount locked in various courts and appellate tribunals is a matter of serious concern and this issue was taken up by the former FM during the last conference also," a CBDT official said.
Some Rs. 4.37 lakh crore are locked up in cases in various courts and appellate tribunals.