New Delhi, December 26: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said that India now needs to move to a lower level of taxation to be globally competitive. The Finance Minister was addressing the officers at the inauguration of professional training of 68th batch of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) (C&CE) Officers at National Academy of Customs Excise and Narcotics in Faridabad.
"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 expressed hope that demonetisation will help increase government revenue and lower fiscal deficit, leading to higher expenditure on defense and rural infrastructure. With the junking of the old high-value currency, the parallel economy has become part of the formal system, which leads to higher accountability and taxation that boost economic growth and transparency, he said at the launch of Digi Dhan Mela here. He illustrated this point by saying that shifting towards less cash economy will help bridge fiscal deficit and bring about improvement in rural India.
"Payment of legitimate taxes is part of a citizen's duty, and non-payment is visited with severe consequences. We've lived through last seven decades in India under the impression that if avoidance could be done of government revenue, there wasn't anything immoral. That was considered to be commercial smartness. Some people were visited with very serious consequences," he said.
"The India that we foresee in next future decades will be an India where voluntary compliances will have to increase," Jaitley added. The Union Budget is expected to be presented on February 1 next year.