The Finance Ministry on Tuesday said the number of income tax payers has increased after demonetisation.
From the date of demonetisation and March 31, 2017, 1.96 crore returns were filed as compared to 1.63 crore returns filed during corresponding period of FY 2015-16 and 1.23 crore returns filed during corresponding period of FY 2014-15, Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Minister of State for Finance said in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.
“Demonetisation seeks to create a new ‘normal’ wherein the GDP would be bigger, cleaner and real. This exercise is a part of Government’s resolve to eliminate corruption, black money, counterfeit currency and terror funding,” Gangwar added.
The government has collected over Rs 1.80 lakh crore in direct tax till July 15 in the current fiscal, an increase of 21.4 pre cent year-on-year, “belying” fears of slowdown in economic activities. “The current growth rate is higher than the target rate of 15.32 required to achieve the Budget Estimate,” Minister of State for Finance Santosh Kumar Gangwar said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.
The government aims to collect Rs 9.8 lakh crore through direct taxes in 2017-18. The minister further said the current growth rate in direct tax collections is “quite healthy, belying any apprehension of reduction” in the level of economic or commercial activities.
He said the government has taken several initiatives to boost economic activity in the country and several measures were announced in the Budget 2017-18. Replying to another question, Gangwar said the number of cyber crimes pertaining to credit card, ATM, debit card and internet banking shows a marginal increase of 4.4 per cent from 13,083 in 2014-15 to 13,653 in 2016-17.
He said the Reserve Bank has mandated banks to put in place a board approved cyber-security policy, which covers the risks threats and the measures to address these risks.