My Notes by Dr. Khan

Govt bets on select sectors to give tax mop-up a push in FY’13

Slowing economic growth notwithstanding, the government is pinning its hopes on a few sectors to aid it in filling its coffers. According to an analysis done by the finance ministry, sectors including consumer goods, software, two-wheelers, cement, power, infrastructure, oil marketing companies (OMCs) and steel are likely to perform well this financial year, finance secretary RS Gujral said today.

He said that the banking and steel sectors are likely to witness some improvement while the software sector is likely to perform well due to depreciation in rupee. Rupee has depreciated 25 per cent since April 2011. The OMCs should also show considerable improvement if the Brent crude hovers around $100 per barrel, Gujral said while speaking at the annual conference of senior officers of the Income Tax Department here. The Budget has been prepared estimating crude to be $115 per barrel.

The secretary added that fertiliser and pharmaceutical sectors are also likely to fare well during the current financial year. As regard the sectors which may not do well include iron ore and aluminium, he said. The first installment of advance tax payment by corporates is due on June 15, when businesses pay 15 per cent of their total tax liability. If the government’s analysis is anything to go by, the first installment of the advance tax may see increased payment in these sectors.

The Budgetary target for direct tax collection during 2012-13 is Rs 5.7 lakh crore, up from Rs 5.32 lakh crore last year. The department was able to achieve only Rs 4.94 lakh crore of the revised target of Rs 5 lakh crore, a growth of only 10.7 per cent year-on-year.

Gujral said that with a growth of 6.5 per cent in the previous year and inflation of at least 7.5-8 per cent, “the collection should have been higher... The tax-GDP ratio has declined marginally which should not have happened.”

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee also hoped that the department will work earnestly to meet the yearly target handsomely. Dismissing pessimistic estimations of the country’s growth, the finance minister said that the country will be able to achieve 7 per cent growth during the year and therefore it will be possible for the department to achieve the target.

Stressing that the economy will see a turnaround this year, the minister said, “We are taking all necessary steps to ensure that we come back to the path of the targeted GDP growth. Of course, it will take some time... but from this year we expect to make a turnaround”.

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