India releases Rs 150 commemorative coin
New Delhi: A coin of Rs.150 denomination was released by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee here Saturday, bearing the portrait of Chanakya, lotus and honeybee, to conclude the celebrations to mark 150 years of India`s Income Tax Department.
Chanakya, often called India`s Machiavelli, though he predated the Italian thinker by some 1,800 years, was advisor to the first Mauryan emperor Chandragupta (from 340 BC to 293 BC), and laid the foundation for governance with his treatise the "Arthasastra".
Why the flower and the bee? "Ideally, governments should collect taxes like a honeybee, which sucks just the right amount of nectar from the flower, so that both of them can survive. Lotus is our national flower," explained an official in the finance ministry.
"The Rs.150 coin is not only unique for its denomination but also in terms of its size and metal composition. This 44-millimetre circular coin is made of 50-percent silver," the official added.
Also released was a coin of Rs.5 denomination.
In the legislative history of India, income tax was introduced for the first-time vide Act No. XXXII of 1860, when the country was under British rule, imposing duties on profits arising from property, professions, trades and offices.
The relevant bill to set up the Income Tax Department was moved by the first member-finance of the Council of India, James Wilson, who also founded The Economist magazine.
It was passed by the Legislative Council of India and received assent of the governor general on July 24, 1860. This act was the precursor to the modern-day income tax legislation in the country.
Wilson was specifically sent to India by the British rulers to set up its tax structure, as also to introduce a new paper currency and establish a new financial system after the revolt of 1857.
He, incidentally, died a few days after the Council gave its nod to the new bill to set up the tax department. His grave was recently rediscovered in Kolkata by an officer of the Income Tax Department and restored.
Mukherjee, who is set to present the federal budget Monday, said direct taxes mop-up had registered a growth of 20 percent during the current fiscal so far, reaching Rs.3,35,000 crore.
He said during the past five years, direct tax collection had grown at an average annual rate of 24 percent, nearly trebling between 2004-05 and 2009-10. He also said its share in the country`s gross domestic product (GDP) has grown from 4.1 percent to 6.1 percent.
"This sustained growth has been possible due to the rationalisation of tax structure, an improvement in tax administration and persistent efforts of the employees of Income Tax department."
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Indian- Americans launch online petition to declare Pakistan 'sponsor of terrorism'
- Panel discussion over PM Modi's willingness to engage in direct dialogue with Pak
- DNA: Analysis over who is responsible for tense condition of Kashmir after Burhan Wani's death?
- EU warns Pakistan of political and economic sanctions over atrocities in Baloch
- Should Pakistani artists be restricted from working in India?
- SHOCKING VIDEO: This man was trying to take selfie with python - You won't believe what happened next!
- All you need to know about Reliance JioFi at Rs 1,999 – use free data till December 31
- Call up this number and get Reliance Jio's SIM for sure
- WATCH: Ravichandran Ashwin's magic ball that bamboozled Kane Williamson on Day 3
- If you have guts, send your suicide bombers to Pakistan: Samajwadi Party to MNS' Raj Thackeray