The Vice President, M. Venkaiah Naidu on Friday called for further simplifying the tax system to promote voluntary compliance and reduce litigation. Appreciating the government’s efforts to do away with complex and tedious processes, he called for intensifying the efforts toward creating a stable, user friendly and transparent tax regime in the country.
Addressing the Valediction Ceremony of the 74th Batch of Indian Revenue Service (Income Tax) at National Academy of Direct Taxes (NADT) at Nagpur, the Vice President observed that technology can be a great enabler in our endeavour toward creating a transparent and taxpayer-friendly administration.
“Leveraging digital technology is crucial for financial inclusion, ease of service delivery and plugging leakages from various welfare schemes,” he added.
Observing that the country expects a high order of efficiency and integrity from all civil servants, the Vice President asked the officers to set a high benchmark, improve the system to make a positive difference in the lives of people. “We are not content with the status quo. We want to convert our Swaraj into Suraj or good governance,” he stressed.
Recognising the important role of Indian Revenue service in nation building through tax collections, Naidu wanted them to demystify the tax laws and procedures so that tax compliance becomes the norm and citizens pay taxes on time, willingly and effortlessly. Citing an analogy from Mahabharata, he said that a ruler should extract taxes from the people in the same way as honey bee extracts nectar from the flowers without harming the flower itself.
Terming effective tax administration as the bedrock of national development and one of the pillars of good governance, the Vice President underlined that tax collection needs to increase but it should be done in a transparent and user-friendly way, not in an arbitrary manner. Stressing the need to minimise the adverse impact of taxation on taxpayers, he said, “if taxpayers continue to grow in their respective productive activities, both the national GDP and the revenue collections will continue to grow.”
Referring to several tax reforms in recent years such as focus on litigation management to avoid repetitive appeals, Faceless Regime and adoption of the Taxpayers’ Charter, the Vice President complimented CBDT for ushering in these far-reaching policy measures. “I firmly believe that interaction between taxpayers and taxmen should be characterized by a spirit of trust, transparency and mutual respect,” he said.
Vice-President Naidu called taxes not just a source of revenue for the government but also an effective instrument for achieving desired socio-economic objectives. Referring to the Prime Minister’s vision for India@100, he appealed to everyone to work for making India a developed, prosperous and happy society in the coming years.
Exhorting the young officers to not get overwhelmed by the challenges and difficulties faced in discharge of their duties, he wanted them to be adept at seeking solutions through consultation and learning from best practices across the world. “You must be receptive to new ideas and willing to listen and absorb,” he stressed.
Referring to 75th independence year celebrations, the Vice President lauded the remarkable role played by the civil servants not only in maintaining the unity, integrity and security of our nation but also in enhancing its dignity in the comity of nations and fostering national development in different domains. He hoped that the passing out officers will keep that same spirit of service and dedication to constitutional values in their individual career. “This is vital for enhancing your efficiency and enriching the quality of lives of people you will serve,” he added.
The Vice President complimented the officers and faculty of the NADT for training the officers as per contemporary and futuristic needs of tax administration. On this occasion, he also congratulated the Central Board of Direct Taxes for their success in ensuring highest ever income tax collections this year, and also for all their efforts in implementing the Faceless Assessment Scheme of the Government of India. “Changes are never easy, but you have managed this radical citizen friendly initiative very well so far, and with time, I am sure it will all become even better,” he said. Governor of Maharashtra, Bhagat Singh Koshyari, Energy Minister of Maharashtra, Nitin Raut, Chairman CBDT, J.B. Mohapatra, Pr. DG, NADT, Praveen Kumar, ADG (Induction), NADT, B. Venkateshwar Rao, ADG (Planning & Research), Dr Vinay Kumar Singh, Course Director, Rishi Bishen, officers of the 74th batch of IRS and others were present on the occasion.