The Income Tax Department has taken up more than 1.5 lakh income tax returns for scrutiny this year, Finance Minister P Chidambaram told Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.
"Less than 2 per cent cases of all returns of income furnished every year are selected for scrutiny, which is a statutory process," he said replying to supplementaries during Question Hour.
This year 1,51,876 cases have been picked up for scrutiny through a Computer Assisted Scrutiny System (CASS).
"The selection of cases for scrutiny is based on strict guidelines, and with adequate safeguards to ensure that there are no cases of improper issue of notices for scrutiny," he said.
CASS is employed for selection of cases on the basis of information received through returns of income as well as institutionalised processes such as Annual Information Return.
"Regular monitoring is done to ensure proper selection. Lists of the cases so picked up are displayed publicly in the Income-tax offices so as to ensure transparency," he said.
To a separate question, Chidambaram said at present, service tax was not leviable on services provided by medical personnel in their professional capacity.
However, states have powers to levy professional tax. "As per information available, such tax is being levied by only about 20 states. The total collection is estimated at about Rs 2,400 crore during 2004-05. The rates of tax vary from state to state within the overall ceiling of Rs 2,500 per person per annum."