The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Tax wing rapped for wrong figures

New Delhi, May 11 (PTI): A parliamentary panel has pulled up the income-tax department for “inaccurate” assessments and the high number of cases it lost.

The standing committee of the finance ministry said as much as Rs 51,090 crore were locked up in 3,358 cases and “over 90 per cent of the cases go against the department”.

This “happened mainly due to inaccurate assessment made by the assessing officers resulting in putting infructous burden on the exchequer”, the committee’s report said.

The committee, led by . Janardhana Reddy, has recommended “suitable” action against the assessing officers concerned.

The committee said it was “shocked” to learn that as on December 30, 2002, outstanding demands worth Rs 51,090 crore were locked up in 3,358 cases.

Pointing out that another several thousand crores were locked in several cases pending before appellate bodies, the report said the department’s recoveries were far lower while outstanding demands were increasing.

“No serious attempt had been made by the government to tackle this problem,” the report said.

It recommended pursuing the cases pending before the Supreme Court and high courts and getting these decided quickly by filing early hearing applications wherever possible.

On the allotment of permanent account number, or PAN, the report said: “Despite tall claims made by I-T department, over 2.5 lakh valid PAN applications and 12 lakh core-deficiency cases are pending with the department for allotment.”

Responding to the I-T department’s contention that the delay was attributable to vacancies, the committee wanted to know why the posts were allowed to lie vacant for a long period.

The committee said it was “perturbed” to note that during 2001-02, there were only 62,027 income-tax assessees with an income of over Rs 10 lakh and 12,43,335 individual assessees with an income of over Rs 2 lakh.

In a dig at the directorate of enforcement, the committee said it was concerned to note the slow disposal of prosecution cases under the repealed Foreign Exchange Regulation Act. Special courts should be established for the purpose, the report suggested.

Since the implementation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 4,327 investigation cases have been registered and 349 adjudication cases have piled up with the directorate, it said.

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