As government makes effort to bring illicit money stashed abroad, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today asked the I-T Department to focus its effort on unearthing 'quite large' black money within the country as well.
"The government is making full efforts to bring back the black money stashed abroad, but the officers of the (Income Tax) Department have to make equally serious efforts to unearth black money within the country," he said in a statement.
He asked "all senior officers to focus their efforts to unearth black money within the country which is also quite large". The government has set up a special investigation team (SIT) to unearth black money stashed abroad. The SIT, headed by former Supreme Court Judge M B Shah and Vice Chairman Arijit Pasayat, has 11 members in the panel who are heads of many investigative and enforcement agencies of the country.
The Finance Minister also hoped that revenue targets fixed for direct taxes in the current fiscal would not only be achieved but would be surpassed as well. The direct tax collections for the current fiscal has been pegged at Rs 7,36,221 crore. "In order to achieve this target, the officers of Income Tax Department will have to work with the highest standard of ethics... credibility of the department is its biggest asset," he said.
He emphasised that officers are duty-bound to work in a non-adversarial, non-intrusive, transparent and fair manner, yet they have to deal firmly with those trying to evade taxes. "The job of the officers of the I-T department is very difficult in the sense that on the one hand they have to achieve the tax collection targets and on the other hand to play the role of tax facilitator for the assesse," he said, while addressing the 30th annual conference of Principal Chief Commissioners, Principal Directors General (DGs), Chief Commissioners & DGs of I-T Department here.