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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014
Chidambaram warns tax dodgers, rules out amnesty
PTI
New Delhi, March 03, 2013
First Published: 13:17 IST(3/3/2013)
Last Updated: 13:46 IST(3/3/2013)

In warning to tax dodgers, finance minister P Chidambaram on Sunday said that a huge amount of data is being mined to go after them and ruled out any amnesty scheme for defaulters.

"No. In income tax there is no case for amnesty. Because now almost all returns are online except a small category which was exempt. We have a huge amount of data which is being mined. Therefore, there is no case for amnesty today."

"Best case I can make out is tell people 'please don't hide your income'. Just admit your income and pay tax and be a proud citizen," he said in an interview on Sunday.

He was asked whether government would consider giving an amnesty to tax defaulters to unearth an estimated huge amount of black money on the lines of amnesty given to service tax defaulters announced in the budget.

Chidambaram pointed out that no tax burden had been imposed in the budget on any category of people other than a "small burden" of 10% surcharge on relatively affluent 42,800 people with incomes of over Rs. 1 crore a year, he pointed out on Sunday.

That number was deliberately used to "shock" the nation that in this country "which swears by truth and virtue" there are only 42,800 people who admit an income of over Rs. 1 crore, he said.

Dispelling apprehensions that the tax could continue beyond one year, the minister said, "surcharges have been imposed in the past and they have been removed".

He gave the instances of removal of banking cash transaction tax and fringe benefit tax which were removed in subsequently budgets few years ago.

The minister also allayed fears that tax on super rich would drive away people saying "... nobody will move anywhere, I assure you. Nowhere in the world you can afford to employ so many domestic helps. Wellness does not only come from wealth. It comes from host of other services that we have in place."

Voicing the hope that "other measures" proposed to be taken and the "shock" of the number would persuade more people to declare their true income, Chidambaram said that based on data mining notices have been issued to 35,000 people.

Those served the notice have been told about what they had spent and about their purchases despite which they had not filed income tax returns, the finance minister said, adding another 35,000 notices are going next week to be followed more notices.

"We have got the central process cell in Bangalore which processes all income tax returns using most advanced software. So, if the information which we have from other sources is not matched with the information with IT returns, that will be thrown up," he said.

To a question, Chidambaram said there are no estimates on the amount of black income and the number who should be in the net but who are not.

But, he said, in a country with 125 crore people, after excluding 67% of the people under food security and elderly people and children, there would be 15 crore people with incomes in various segments.

"The top 10% should have large income...I think the number must be several times 42,800 who have high income," he said, adding they may not be earning Rs. 1 crore but certainly Rs. 75 lakh or Rs. 50 lakh.

"They should be admitting to that income and paying income tax. I think not paying taxes is misdemeanour. Not paying the right kind of tax is another misdemeanour," he said.

The finance minister said that central processing centre in Ghaziabad, inaugurated last week, will now be able to track every single TDS deduction and match it with whether the deductor has remitted the money to the government and issued TDS certificate to the deductee.

"Every deductee can now see online what are the deductions that have been made by other deductors. The FIU unit is mining the data and generating data for the CBDT. The whole lot of activity going on."

"So my appeal to the people would be that there is no place where you can hide your income any more. Just admit your true income and be proud. Why should anybody be ashamed that he has a high income. When I was a lawyer, I had a high income in the past. I was quite proud about it. Why should I hide my income. You admit your income and pay your tax," he said.


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Highlights: Budget 2013  »

  • Expect higher revenue next year: Chidambaram
  • Unclear what the expense on food subsidies be at this stage: Chidambaram
  • Fuel subsidy likely to be lower this year: Chidambaram
  • Immediate goal is to achieve growth rate of 6%: Chidambaram
  • We have to be patient and wait for the economy to pick up: Chidambaram
  • We have not put impossible burdens on people: Chidambaram
  • The only way to contain current account deficit is to increase exports: Chidambaram
  • Confident that RBI will do it's part: Chidambaram
  • Economy is challenged in a number of ways: Chidambaram
  • This is a lollypop election budget: CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta
  • Budget has ignored SC/ST: Mayawati
  • Budget will only benefit industrialists, not common man: Mayawati
  • Budget will give impetus to Bihar's demand for special status: Nitish Kumar
  • FM has taken important steps to reverse pessimistic mood with regard to our economy: PM
  • There is need to convert challenges into opportunities: PM
  • The Finance Minister has done a commendable job: PM
  • Direct Benefit Transfer scheme to be rolled out
  • Ships and vessels exempted from excise duty
  • Direct tax code to be introduced in budget session of the Parliament
  • Set-top box import duty hiked
  • Gold duty limit raised to Rs. 50,000 for men; Rs. 1 lakh for women
  • 100% customs duty on luxury cars
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  • 6% duty on mobile phones worth more than Rs. 2000
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  • Luxury imported items to cost more
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  • No change in customs and excise duty
  • Tax credit of Rs. 2000 for those with income upto Rs. 5 lakh
  • Education cess at 3%
  • donations to be tax free
  • Surcharge of 10% on individuals, companies whose income is above Rs. 1 crore per year
  • No revision in tax slabs
  • Planned expenditure to be 33% of total expenditure
  • Rs. 1,000 crore allocated to women safety fund
  • Defence budget allocation increased to Rs. 2 lakh crore
  • Insurance and pension funds can now directly invest in debt funds
  • Domestic workers, Anganwadi workers, others to get group insurance
  • 13 public sector banks to get Rs. 14,000 crore
  • Propose to provide Rs. 14,000 cr for capital infusion in public sector banks
  • Inflation indexed bonds and NSCs to be introduced
  • JNNURM is being continued in the 12th Plan; Rs. 14,873 cr to be provided to the Mission
  • Rs. 33,000 crore to be allocated to MNREGA
  • Rs. 6000 crore for rural housing fund, Rs. 2000 cr for urban housing fund
  • Two new ports to be built in West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh
  • All towns having population of 10,000 to get LIC office
  • Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna to be extended to rickshaw pullers and rag pickers
  • List of eligible securities will be enlarged: Chidambaram
  • SEBI to simplify procedures for entry of foreign portfolio investors in India: Chidambaram
  • India's first all-women public sector bank to be set up
  • All public sector bank branches to have ATMs
  • Focus on modernisation of powerloom sector
  • Propose to continue with the technology upgradation, funds scheme for textile sector: Chidambaram
  • Rs. 1650 cr allocated for AIIMS like institutes
  • Natural gas pricing policy will be reviewed: Chidambaram
  • Person taking home loan for the first time to get tax cut of Rs. 1 lakh
  • Regulatory authority to be set up for road sector
  • Rs. 17,700 crore to be allocated for Integrated Child Development Scheme
  • Rs. 5000 cr allocated to NABARD
  • Income level of Rajiv Gandhi equity schemes increased by Rs. 2 lakh
  • Rs. 80, 194 crore allocated for rural development: Chidambaram
  • Rs. 25,000 cr to be raised through tax free bonds: Chidambaram
  • Rs. 10,000 crore for food security bill promised by UPA: Chidambaram
  • Infrastructure debt fund to be encouraged: Chidambaram
  • Rs. 37,330 cr allocated to ministry of health and family welfare: Chidambaram
  • Rs. 41,000 allocated for scheduled caste welfare: Chidambaram
  • Rs. 27,49 cr to be allocated to the agriculture ministry: Chidambaram
  • Plan expenditure in 12th Five Year Plan revised to Rs. 14,30,825 cr or 96% of budgeted expenditure
  • Scholarships for students from SC/ST, minority communities: Chidambaram
  • Rs. 110 cr to be allocated to department of disability: Chidambaram
  • Increased allocation for safe drinking water and sanitation: Chidambaram
  • Increased allocation for mid-day meal schemes: Chidambaram
  • Rs. 65,000 cr allocation for education schemes: Chidambaram
  • Rs. 110 cr to be allocated to department of disability: Chidambaram
  • Need $ 75 billion to bridge current account deficit: Chidambaram
  • 2013-14 budget has sub-plans for SC, ST, youth and women: Chidambaram
  • Foreign investment imperative for growth: Chidambaram
  • Our economy has slowed down after 2010: Chidambaram
  • No choice but to cut spendings to control inflation: Chidambaram
  • China and Indonesia are growing faster than India: Chidambaram
  • Getting back to 8% growth is a challenge for country: Chidambaram
  • Our goal is higher growth: Chidambaram
  • Between 2004-2008 and again in 2009-10, 2010-11 the growth rate was over 8%: Chidambaram
  • P Chidambaram begins budget address in Lok Sabha
  • Cabinet endorses Union Budget 2013-14, to be presented in Parliament shortly.
  • Finance minister P Chidambaram reaches North Block.
  • Chidambaram set to present India's 82nd national budget.
  • Today's Union Budget will be Chidambaram's eighth personal exercise.
  • It's two short of the record of 10 set by former PM Morarji Desai.
  • Since Independence, the country has seen a total of 25 ministers hold the finance portfolio.
  • India has also seen budgets - 65 normal annual budgets, 12 interim budgets and four mini-budgets.
  • Morarji Desai presented eight normal and two interim budgets.
  • Thursday will see Chidambaram equal the eight-budget track record of Pranab Mukherjee.
  • Chidambaram will surpass Yashwant Sinha, YB Chavan and CD Deshmukh who all presented seven budgets each.
  • PM Manmohan Singh and TT Krishnamachari have presented six budgets each.
  • Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi have presented one budget each.
  • Sensex closed up more than half a percent a day before the union budget 2013-14
  • It will be the eighth such personal exercise for him
  • Chidambaram set to present India's 82nd national budget in Lok Sabha

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