Faced with a shortfall in direct tax collection, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee has asked senior income tax (I-T) officials in the city to expedite pending appeals, which could release much-needed tax revenue into the coffers.
In a meeting with I-T officials on Saturday, Mukherjee also urged the department to draw up a strategy to meet the annual target. With three months remaining in the fiscal year, the department has collected only half of its target of Rs2.04 lakh crore. Officials fear that the shortfall could be anywhere between Rs25,000 crore to Rs50,000 crore. "We have fallen short of targets in the past, but [the deficit] has always been less than Rs20,000 crore," a senior I-T official said, requesting anonymity.
The taxmen also fear that the poor industrial growth will hurt revenue from the last installment of advance tax due on March 15. Significantly, as much as 35% of the country’s direct tax revenue comes from Mumbai.