Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday told tax officers to work on a system to ensure that small traders are brought into the GST network, especially those with an annual turnover of less than Rs 20 lakh.
Addressing central and state tax officers on the first day of the 2-day Rajasva Gyan Sangam in New Delhi, he also asked tax officials to be friendly to honest taxpayers as part of his efforts to end the fear of the taxman and make India a more tax compliant society.
Modi said that the new tax regime has ushered in more transparency while integrating the country into a unified marketplace. Though more than 18 lakh traders have been brought under the new indirect tax regime, the Prime Minister felt that the success of GST will be realised when all traders are brought into its net. He asked tax officers to work on a system so that smaller traders who are not in the indirect tax paying bracket also register in the GST network.
According to provisions of the new indirect tax, traders with an annual turnover of Rs 20 lakh are exempt from GST.
As per official data till August 29, 58.83 lakh tax payers have completely migrated to the GST network, while 13.80 lakh are yet complete their formalities for migration.
In his address to tax officers, Modi also expressed dismay at the number of pending tax litigation and exhorted tax officers to look at ways of speedy disposal of cases.
He said that his government is working to shatter the confidence of the corrupt, and instil confidence and trust among the honest taxpayer, and urged tax officers to set targets to achieve this mission.
A friendly face with greater transparency and more accessibility has been the main theme of Modi’s address to tax officers every time he has met them. In the last such conference the Prime Minister urged officers to change their approach towards tax payers to remove the fear of the department that common people have.
The Prime Minister asked officers to use data analytical tools to proactively track and determine undeclared income and wealth. But at the same he also said that the tax department should reduce human interface in its dealings to remove apprehensions of personal bias or vested interests in tax cases.
Modi asked tax officers to use the two-day tax conference to come up with ideas to come up with a time-bound solution to ‘tax raised and not realised’, and asserted that the honest cannot continue to pay the price for the misdeeds of the dishonest.