New Delhi , Sept 3 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who inaugurated and attended the two-day 'Rajaswa Gyan Sangam 2017', stated that a nudge be given to E-Assessment, reduction of pendency of appeals, use of data analytics to track undeclared income and increase tax revenue and improved coordination with states for the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Addressing the event, Prime Minister Modi urged the officers to improve their work culture and incorporate a sense of urgency and measurability in their performance.

He exhorted officers to fix clear targets to improve the country's tax administration by 2022, being the 75th anniversary of Independence.

He also lauded the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) for its proactive role in fighting tax evasion and unearthing substantial quantums of black money.

As a step towards effective litigation management, the CBDT aims to achieve the twin objectives of substantially reducing the number of appeals and the disputed demand before CIT(Appeals). The focus is to dispose off 70 percent of smaller appeals and 30 percent of high demand appeals including 100 percent of appeals involving disputed demand of Rs. 50 crore and above.

The Gyan Sangam also included joint sessions by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev who spoke on "Inner Engineering- Technologies for Well Being" and a session addressed by KV Chowdary, Central Vigilance Commissioner who spoke on the importance of probity in public life.

The two days of the Gyan Sangam saw sessions held on effectiveness of tax administration, maximization of revenue, litigation management, e-assessment, tax evasion and prosecution, widening of tax base, tax payer services, GST and modernization of customs.

It was decided that assessing officers be encouraged to maximize e-assessment in a phased manner and to ensure that work be completed online so that there is complete transparency.

Strategies for revenue maximization were discussed at length especially since the CBDT has been tasked to collect revenue of Rs 9.80 lakh crore in the present fiscal. The officers were urged to utilize data effectively such that the target for collection of Personal Income Tax should not only be met but also be exceeded.

The session on taxpayer services and grievances outlined the development of tax payer services as a separate vertical. The good work done in the field of redressal of grievances was highlighted as almost 85 percent of grievances of CBDT have been disposed off online through the e-nivaran portal. There was emphasis on redressal of grievances for both CBDT and CBEC.

Strategies for widening of tax base were discussed in detail with special focus on verification of data collected during demonetization and SFT. The CBDT aims to add a sizeable number of new taxpayers in the current fiscal. It was directed that special focus be given to popularize the Operation Clean Money portal such that an environment of voluntary compliance can be created.

The technical sessions on the GST and GST Network (GSTN) focused on implementation issues faced in GST, chaired by GSTN CEO Prakash Kumar.

In the CBEC session, various issues were discussed and main thrust was on "Ease of Doing Business", Litigation Management and HR related issues. President of CESTAT addressed senior officials of CBEC and shared pragmatic thoughts on the litigation matters of CBEC. There was also a Sunshine session to highlight a formation's initiative in improving taxpayer services or individual initiative outside of the regular area of responsibility.

The Refund Sms Sewa, instant feedback survey from international passengers, barcoding confiscated goods for disposal etc, the online portal of blood donors or Go Green building of NACIN Bengaluru was also showcased.

The Revenue Secretary, in his concluding remarks emphasized that Revenue was a cross sectoral subject that required in depth understanding and coordination between both departments. He encouraged the officers of both CBDT and CBEC to share best practices with each other regularly. He also underlined the importance of increasing efforts to garner revenue in light of the data that is available post demonetization.

He also stressed that genuine grievances of taxpayers should be disposed off on priority and taxpayers should be treated with courtesy.

(Posted on 03 September 2017, 1685480976 18O232O31O255)