New Delhi: Government has surpassed the revised indirect tax collections targets for 2007-08 as the revenues from customs, excise and service tax touched about Rs2,79,000 crore.
The Centre has already achieved the direct tax collections of about Rs3,12,000 crore for 2007-08, surpassing the revised target of about Rs3,05,000 crore, and the total tax collections stood at around Rs5,91,000 crore for the fiscal.
“We have crossed the revised estimates of about 2,79,000 crore indirect tax collections for 2007-08,” Central Board of Excise and Customs Chairman P C Jha told reporters here.
Total indirect tax collections included customs collections of around Rs1,04,000 crore, excise collections of around 1,25,000 crore and service tax amounting to over Rs50,000 crore as on March 31, 2008, he said.
Referring to the budget estimates of about Rs3,22,000 crore indirect tax collection for 2008-09, Jha said, “We are hopeful to achieve the target considering the continuing high growth of the economy.”
He said final figures of service tax collections are still to come as data for about 5.5 lakh tax payers is being collected but the targets have been achieved. It is despite cut in excise duty from 16% to 14% in the Budget 2008-09, and reduction in customs duty on various item after the Budget.
The CBEC Chairman admitted that there was a minor shortfall in excise duty collections against the revised target of Rs1,27,947 crore for 2007-08, but it was more than met by the increase in customs and service tax collections.
The government had fixed a revised target of Rs1,00,766 crore for customs and Rs50,603 crore for service tax in 2007-08.
When asked whether targets could be revised after cut in customs duty on various items and further proposed duty cuts, he said at present there was no such proposal.
He, however, added that “It is a simple arithmetic that tax cuts will have impact on revenue collections but targets are fixed while accepting duty cuts during the year.”
He further said during the current financial year, the board would emphasise on “audit and anti-evasion” measures for better tax collections.
Referring to large scale duty tax evasion by the pan-gutka manufacturers, he said, there is a proposal to introduce production-based levy to contain tax evasion. The decision would be taken once the Finance Bill is passed by the Parliament.