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Convert crisis into oportunity : PM

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Source : The New Indian Express Date : 17.06.2007

Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 June 2009 12:29
 

‘Govt investing heavily to modernise tax administration’

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Source : Business Line Date : 17.06.2009

‘Govt investing heavily to modernise tax administration’


The net direct tax collections during the first two months of the current fiscal stood at Rs 24,158 crore, a growth of 5.77 per cent.


Our Bureau

Kochi, June 16

The Union Government is investing heavily in modernising the tax administration in an efficient and cost-effective manner with the objective of delivering better service to tax payers, according to Mr Vayalar Ravi, the Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs.

New communication technologies for improving taxpayer experience with the tax administration are being put to use. Online return filing, electronic assessment, online payment and refunds of tax and annual information returns are being implemented, the Minister said while addressing Regional Seminar on Tax Laws organised by Southern India Regional Council of ICAI in Kochi.

There was a time when people wanted to avoid tax department as the tax rates were as high as nearly 90 per cent. With lowering of rates, efforts at widening the tax base and more tax-payer friendly approaches, the tax department has been like a service department where people are not scared of approaching. This is the reason that the revenue collections are going up in the past few years, he said.

The net direct tax collections during the first two months of the current fiscal stood at Rs 24,158 crore, up from Rs 22,840 crore last year, registering a growth of 5.77 per cent. The Government has framed tax policies not only to make the country an attractive investment destination but also to avoid erosion of tax base and maintain equity.

Auditors’ role

Mr K. Madhavan Nair, Director General of Income Tax (Investigation), Kerala and Karnataka, said that the Government had taken steps to enhance the role of auditors on the basis of the Naresh Chandra Committee report, Kumar Mangalam Birla Committee report and Narayana Committee report. One of the important recommendations of these committees is that the auditors fee should be paid out of a fund created for this purpose by the Government, instead of being paid by the clients to ensure the independence of auditors.

He also sought powers to auditors to call for all records and documents required in expressing the opinion on true and fairness of the financial statements so that auditors do not wash their hands of by qualifying their report by stating that necessary details were not furnished for their verification.

Mr Babu Abraham Kallivayalil, Vice-Chairman, SIRC of ICAI, said that the chartered accountancy profession always had a proactive role in assisting smooth tax administration both at the Central and State level. This is evident from the fact that direct tax collection has been buoyant in the last five years. In the financial year 2009-10, the Government has targeted direct tax collections of Rs 3,80,000 crore.

Vibrant economic growth and the boom in the business sector has grown up, contributing to a large increase in the realisation of tax revenues, and many intricate issues have crept up in direct and indirect taxes. Accordingly, the taxation laws are undergoing tremendous changes.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 June 2009 09:57
 

Kochi Corpn seeks suburban rail system

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Source : Business Line Date : 17.06.2009

Kochi Corpn seeks suburban rail system

Our Bureau

Kochi, June 16 The Kochi Corporation has sought the help of the Railways in starting a suburban-railway system linking Kochi city with Thrissur, Kottayam and Mattancherry, benefiting short-distance commuters. The civic authority had also demanded setting up a new railway station at Nedumbassery for the benefit of passengers who arrive at the Cochin International Airport.

This was highlighted in a memorandum submitted by the City Mayor, Prof Mercy Williams, to the visiting Minister of State for Railways, Mr E. Ahmed.

Top on the list is a project to build four-lane overbridges in place of the existing two-lane ones at Ernakulam North and South.

The widening of the two bridges that were built in the 1960s is vital to ensure smooth flow of traffic along the Banerjee Road and Sahodaran Ayyapan Road, two arterial roads in the city that encounter traffic snarls all through the day.

However, any work on them cannot be carried out unless the long-pending overbridges are ready at Pullepady and Atlantis which run parallel to the two bridges.

For this, the Corporation has asked the Railways to speed up work on the two new bridges, apart from the pending ones at Ponnurunni and Pachalam.

Halting stations at the Ponnurunni Marshalling Yard and Edapally too have been mooted, on the lines of the Pettah railway station in Thiruvananthapuram.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 June 2009 09:52
 


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