Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said that the tax collection is not commensurate with the income and expenditure patterns.Presenting the Union Budget 2017-18+ in the Lok Sabha, Jaitley hit out at tax evaders and said “over decades tax evasion had become a way of life. We are largely a tax non-compliant society. When too many evade tax, the burden falls on those who are honest.”
Arun Jaitley placed before Parliament data exposing the gap between tax collection and income and consumption patterns of the economy even as he announced steps to widen the tax net+ .
Among the 3.7 crore individuals who filed tax returns in 2015-16, 99 lakh showed income below the exemption limit of Rs 2.5 lakh per annum; 1.95 crore showed income between Rs 2.5 lakh and Rs 5 lakh; 52 lakh showed income between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 10 lakh, and only 24 lakh people declared income above Rs 10 lakh.
Of the 76 lakh individual assesses who declared income of above Rs 5 lakh, 56 lakh are in the salaried class.
The number of people showing income more than Rs 50 lakh in the country is only 1.72 lakh, Jaitley said while placing before “certain data” to indicate that “direct tax collection is not commensurate with the income and consumption”.
“We can contrast this with the fact that in the last five years, more than 1.25 crore cars have been sold, and number of Indian citizens who flew abroad, either for business or tourism, is 2 crore in the year 2015,” he said.