'Tax dept to send notices to 35,000 assesses next week'
Finance Minister P Chidambaram said the tax department has information about people's expenditure patterns and their financial transactions.
New Delhi: Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday said the revenue department will send tax notices to 35,000 assesses next week, beefing up efforts to reach the collection target for the fiscal.
"We have issued notices to 35,000 people saying that on the basis of information we have, you should have filed your return. Another 35,000 notices are going next week," he said in a TV interview.
He said the tax department has information about people's expenditure patterns and their financial transactions.
"You cannot hide any longer ... Therefore, today the best policy is to admit your income and pay tax... The tax base will rise this and we will find more people admitting to more income," he said.
The government proposes to collect over Rs 5.65 lakh crore from tax revenues as per revised estimates, marginally lower than Rs 5.70 lakh crore budgeted for the current fiscal.
The gross collection of direct taxes stood at over Rs 4.55 lakh crore during the April-January period of current fiscal.
On taxing the super-rich, Chidambaram said, "It was indeed shocking that there are only 42,800 persons in this country, that includes individuals, HUF, firms, associations of persons, admitting to a taxable income of Rs one crore and above".
Chidambaram in Budget has proposed a 10 per cent surcharge on people or entities with taxable income of over Rs one crore.
"I am confident that if more people heed my advice (and disclose true income), there will be more who join the ranks of people who have high income. There is no shame in having a high income," he said.
Referring to the passage of crucial financial sector reforms bill in the ongoing Budget session of Parliament, Chidambaram said, he has held discussions with the opposition parties for passage of the insurance and pension bills.
"We have held meetings for two bills - insurance and pension bill. I have spoken to the Chairman of the Standing Committee also. Another meeting is scheduled next week.
These two bills will come to Parliament and I am confident of passing these bills," he said. Insurance Bill seeks to raise foreign investment cap in the sector from 26 per cent to 49 per cent, while the pension bill also aims to increase the foreign investment limit to the same level, among other things.
On the issue of retrospective amendment to the Income Tax laws, Chidambaram said: "There is a Vodafone case which triggered the retrospective amendment. So, unless we resolve the Vodafone issue and get clarity on how that issue gets resolved what is the amendment that I go to Parliament with?"
He further said conciliation, as proposed by the British telecom major, would be taken up by the Cabinet in next meeting. "Cabinet will perhaps consider that in the next meeting and as the Cabinet gives the green signal, we will move forward with conciliation. Unlike arbitration, conciliation can be wrapped up within a couple of sittings," he said.
Vodafone is facing the tax liability for purchase of Hongkong-based Hutchison Whampoa's stake in Indian telecom business Hutchison Essar in 2007. The tax department had issued a letter in January to Vodafone stating the company is required to pay a tax demand of about Rs 11,217 crore besides interest.
However, Vodafone replied back saying that they do not owe anything to the Indian government. The telecom firm had earlier wanted to take India into international arbitration, but after discussions with Indian government, it offered conciliation on the matter.