Faridabad: Highlighting the need to have lower level of taxation, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Monday that lower tax levels will make it competitive globally.
He was addressing the officers at inauguration of professional training of 68th batch of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) (C&CE) Officers at National Academy of Customs Excise and Narcotics here.
"What you need is lower level of taxation, to provide services more competitive in nature. Competition is not domestic, it is global. This is one important change you will witness while you will be in service," Jaitley said.
He also added that the central government is working in the direction of making tax-evasion impossible.
Emphasising that as the country needs to move to a tax-friendly environment, the Finance Minister said that the authorities need to be fair in interpreting the tax laws.
"Tax authorities are judged by the quality of what they write or what they decide. Level of fairness followed by tax authorities will define the quality of interpretation of tax laws by tax authorities. Voluntary compliance by citizens by payment of due taxes needs to be reciprocated by tax authorities by a tax-friendly administration," he added.
Officers should have a high-level of integrity, honesty, sincerity and do hard work with eagerness to learn new things, he said.
Jaitley said that payment of taxes is the basis of development of an economy.
"In many economies while they develop, payment of taxes is part of citizens` duty," he said.
Jaitley said that tax collectors would need to sharpen their skills as indirect taxes of the Centre and the states are eventually going to converge.
"Once they (taxes of centre and states) converge into one tax, the cooperation between the Centre and the state authorities itself will have to reach very high standards," he said, while referring to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) which is on the anvil.
He further said that standardisation of practices, injection of technology and ability to detect any infringement of violation will require very large supervisory skills.
Observing that there are no grey areas in criminal or tax laws, Jaitley said stricter principles would need to be applied to detect violation.
"There are no grey areas in taxation laws. It's either black or white. It's either payable or not payable. And therefore to discover grey areas in fiscal laws is not possible, that's the same principle that applies to criminal law also, either an offence has been committed or not committed," the Minister said.
With Agency Inputs