Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for a sharp rise in, almost doubling of, the number of income-tax assessees. Addressing tax officers in the Rajasva Gyan Sangam on Thursday in New Delhi, he said that the number of assessees should reach 10 crore. This is the first time that the two revenue boards, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and the Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC), are holding a simultaneous conference.
The Prime Minister outlined a five-point charter for tax administrators that goes by the acronym RAPID: R for revenue, A for accountability, P for probity, I for information, and D for digitization, said an official press release. He urged the officers to turn the Gyan Sangam into a Karma Sangam, so that the ideas generated from this conference lead to concrete action on the ground.
Modi encouraged the officers for a free and frank exchange of ideas during the meet. He stressed that while there should be respect for the rule of law among all citizens, and even fear of the long arm of the law among those who evade taxes, people should not fear tax administrators. India is today at a unique stage in its history, and the high aspirations of its people need to be nurtured by the government, so that they translate into the nation’s development, he said.
He stressed on the need for tax administrators to engender trust in the system. Citing the example of the ‘Give it up’ initiative for voluntarily giving up gas subsidy, he said that the tax base too could be increased significantly, provided the tax administrators can demonstrate the leadership to bring about a change.