The PM asked officers to use data analysis tools to proactively track and determine undeclared income and wealth.
He was addressing tax officials at an annual conference aimed at improving the communication between the country’s Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC).
The PM emphasised the need for good-governance by encouraging tax administrators to improve their work culture as well as to incorporate both a “sense of urgency” and “measurability” in their performance, a government statement said.
In his speech, Modi recognised the efforts being made to combat tax evasion and increase revenues each year, while at the same time noting that “the estimated amounts of tax that should accrue to the system are often not realised”.
He then asked officers to come up with a “time-bound solution to tax raised and not realised”, and asserted that “the honest cannot continue to pay the price for the misdeeds of the dishonest”.
In this regard, he also suggested “a complete reworking of human resource management” in the tax departments to strengthen the data analytics and investigation wing.
Modi remarked that human interface “must be kept to a minimum in the tax administration’s dealings”, asking for a push to be given to ‘e-assessment’ and anonymity of proceedings using technology, “so that vested interests do not impede the due course of law”.
Goods and services tax
The Indian PM also illustrated the results of the introduction of the goods and services tax (GST), which unified more than a dozen levies like excise duty, service tax and VAT.
Modi remarked how the levy has brought more than INR1.7m (£20,488, $26,530, €22,265) into the indirect tax system within two months.
The PM asked tax officers to improve the GST’s reach by designing a system that ensures that even smaller traders with a turnover below INR2m are registered and subject to the tax regime.