NEW DELHI: Newly-appointed Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey Friday said his focus would be to improve the tax-GDP ratio and increase compliance by making the system more taxpayer friendly.
Pandey, a 1984-batch Maharashtra cadre officer, took over as the Revenue Secretary to the Government of India upon superannuation of Hasmukh Adhia.
Adhia, a 1981-batch Gujarat cadre officer of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), was the top bureaucrat in the Finance Ministry and also held the post of the Revenue Secretary.
Talking to reporters after taking charge, Pandey said, “My priority at this time would be to improve the tax-GDP ratio in the country by integration of technology into the entire taxation system and also making the procedures and rules and regulations simpler so that people have natural incentive to comply to the taxation regime.”
In the last four years, the country’s tax-GDP ratio has improved from 10 per cent to 11.5 per cent.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had earlier said that while the salaried class pay their due share of taxes, “most other sections” have to improve their tax payment record, which is keeping India “far from being a tax-compliant society”.
With regard to the Goods and Services Tax (GST), Pandey said the government has already undertaken several measures to further simplify the system.
“For example, from the three return system now, soon within the next few months, we will be moving to a single return system. Similarly, so far as returns and other procedures are concerned, they will also be streamlined. Work has already been done so our aim is to make the system simple and as convenient as possible,” he said.
A Finance Ministry statement said Pandey, in his over 34 years of experience in State and Central Governments, had a remarkable stint of more than eight years in UIDAI.
Pandey will continue to head the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as its CEO and will also hold his position as the Chairman of GSTN.
An IIT-Kanpur alumnus, Pandey reformed the power distribution system as managing director of Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company where he brought down transmission and distribution losses remarkably and helped the state in tiding over massive power shortage, the statement said.
Early in his career, he had also headed the Enforcement Division of Maharashtra Sales Tax Department.