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April-Dec direct tax receipts rise 12.3% to Rs 4.81 trillion

Direct tax collections totalled Rs 4.29 lakh crore during the April-December period in 2012-13. Net direct tax collections rose 12.53 per cent to Rs 4.15 lakh crore during the period this year, compared with Rs 3.69 lakh crore in the year-ago period, the Finance Ministry said in a statement on Monday.

The government had set a direct tax collection target of over Rs 6.68 lakh crore for 2013-14, envisaging a growth of 19 per cent from Rs 5.65 lakh crore in 2012-13. The gross collection of corporate taxes increased 9.35 per cent to Rs 3.1 lakh crore from Rs 2.84 lakh crore, the Finance Ministry said.

Gross collection of personal income tax was up 18.53 per cent to Rs 1.67 lakh crore in the first nine months from Rs 1.41 lakh crore. Securities Transaction Tax mop-up stood at Rs 3,427 crore. Wealth tax collection posted a growth of 11.92 per cent to Rs 742 crore from Rs 663 crore.

Finance Minister P Chidambaram also on Monday met chief commissioners handling both direct and indirect taxes to take stock of the revenue mop-up.

Meanwhile, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion plans to release the next edition of its consolidated foreign direct investment (FDI) policy document on 31 March, incorporating changes made over the past year. ‘The next edition of the Consolidated FDI Policy Circular, ie Circular 1 of 2014, is scheduled to be issued on 31 March and will be effective from 1 May,’ the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) said.

The previous (sixth) FDI policy edition was issued in April 2013. The DIPP, under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, is the nodal agency on FDI policy. It compiles all policies related to India’s FDI regime into a single document to make it simple and easy for investors to understand. Investors would otherwise have to go through various press notes issued by the industry department and RBI regulations to understand the policy. The government updates the policy every year.

The DIPP has invited public comments on the document till 17 January, it said. FDI is considered crucial for economic development and India has taken several steps to attract such funds.

Last year, the government relaxed norms in about a dozen sectors, including telecom, defence, PSU oil refineries, commodity bourses, power exchanges and stock exchanges. FDI inflows during April-November of the current financial year declined 15 per cent to $12.6 billion from $14.7 billion in the same period a year earlier. India is projected to require about $1 trillion between 2012-13 and 2016-17, the 12th Five-Year Plan period, to fund infrastructure such as ports, airports and highways.

A decline in FDI would hurt the rupee, which had depreciated to a record low of 68.85 against the dollar on 28 August. The local currency on Monday fell 15 paise to close at a five-week low of 62.31 against the dollar amid bearish local stocks and importer demand for the US currency.
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