Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday launched a new platform to strengthen efforts of reforming and simplifying India’s tax system while praising the role of honest taxpayers in nation-building.
Only 1.5 crore people pay the taxes in a country of 130 crores, he said urging people to introspect themselves and come forward to pay the taxes due.
“When the life of an honest taxpayer of the country becomes easy, he moves forward. Then the country also develops and leaps forward,” said the Prime Minister while launching the platform ‘Transparent Taxation — Honouring the Honest’ through video conferencing.
He said the new platform has been launched to meet the requirements of 21st-century taxation system with major reforms like faceless assessment, faceless appeal and taxpayers charter.
While the faceless assessment and taxpayers charter have come into force from today, the facility of faceless appeal will be available for citizens across the country from September 25 which is Deen Dayal Upadhyay’s birth anniversary.
The Prime Minister said the new facilities are a part of the government’s resolve to provide maximum governance with minimum government. He said that every rule, law and policy are made with an emphasis of them being people-centric, public-friendly rather than power-centric.
The new governance model is yielding good results. Referring to the reduction of the scrutiny of the cases by at least four times in the last six years from 0.94 per cent in 2012-13 to 0.26 per cent in 2018-19, the Prime Minister said this reflects the trust of the government is laying on returnees.
In the past six years, India has seen a new model of governance evolving in tax administration. Amid all these efforts, he said the number of people filing income tax returns has increased by about 2.5 crores in the last six to seven years.
The Prime Minister said that the tax slabs have also been rationalised as a part of the ongoing reforms where there is zero tax up to an income of Rs 5 lakh while the tax rate has reduced in remaining slabs too. He said India is one of the countries with the lowest corporate tax in the world.
The government’s focus in the last six years has been banking the unbanked, securing the unsecured and funding the unfunded. The platform of honouring the honest is in a similar direction, said the Prime Minister.
This will help in the making of a self-reliant India, an AtmaNirbharBharat.
Earlier, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman called the launch of the new platform ‘a landmark day in the history of tax administration.’
“The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has given a framework and put in place a system in the form of this platform, a transparent efficient and accountable tax system,” she added. The platform will use technology such as data analytics and artificial intelligence. (ANI)