Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Monday asked the I-T Department to focus its effort on unearthing 'quite large' piles of black money generated within the country through concealment of income as well as illicit money.
The finance minister said though the government is making all efforts to bring back the black money stashed abroad, tax officials should focus efforts on unearthing black money within the country, which is also quite large.
"The government is making full efforts to bring back the black money stashed abroad, but the officers of the (Income Tax) Department have to make equally serious efforts to unearth black money within the country," he said in a statement.
At the same time, he said, the job of the officers of the Income Tax Department is very difficult in the sense that on the one hand they have to achieve the tax collection targets and on the other hand to play the role of tax facilitator for the assessed.
He said tax officials are duty bound to work in a non-adversarial, non-intrusive, transparent and fair manner, yet they have to deal firmly with those trying to evade taxes due from them to the department.
The government has set up a special investigation team (SIT) headed by former Supreme Court Judge M B Shah to unearth black money stashed abroad.
Jaitley hoped that the revenue target of Rs7,36,221crore fixed for direct taxes for the current financial year (2014-15) would not only be achieved but would also be surpassed.
The finance minister said that in order to achieve this target, officials of the Income Tax Department will have to work with highest standard of ethics.
He was addressing senior officials of the Income Tax Department after inaugurating the two-day annual conference of principal chief commissioners, principal director generals, chief commissioners and director generals of income tax in New Delhi on Monday.