New Delhi: Exuding confidence that revenue collection target will be met in the current fiscal, Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday asked tax officials to focus on top 100 excise payees and 12 lakh service tax assesses who have stopped filing returns.
"It is not surprising that non-filers and stop-filers have mounted in service tax. The number exceeds 12 lakh or so. We are targeting them," he told reporters after inaugurating the annual conference of Central Board of Excise and Customs.
The Minister said revenue mobilisation is the most important task of the department and they should achieve the indirect tax collection target of over Rs 5.63 lakh crore. "We will achieve revenue target. Just like we will achieve in CBDT side, we will achieve in the CBEC side as well," Chidambaram said.
The government has set a total tax collection target for the current fiscal at Rs 12.35 lakh crore, as against Rs 10.38 lakh crore. Referring to the excise duty, the minister said there are only 1.2 lakh excise duty assesses in the country. "It is the smallest tax base of any tax and I will impress upon chief commissioners to keep a close touch with top 100 assesses and regard them clients, regard the department (CBEC) as service provider," he said.
The top 100 clients accounts for over 80 per of excise duties that are paid. On the service tax which accounts for about one-third of direct tax collection, Chidambaram said people are not yet used to the idea of this taxation.
"They are used to the idea of excise duty but they don't realise that service tax is only other side of excise duty. If you produce a good you pay excise duty, you produce a service you pay the service tax. But somehow there is mindset that why we should pay service tax," he said.
He said people "must get to the idea" that GDP is made up of goods and services.