According to the Central Board of Excise and Customs, only six lakh service tax payers are filing returns
The Revenue Department is trying to locate 9 lakh business entities which have stopped filing service tax returns, with a view to improving collections, meeting Rs82,000-crore target in 2011-12 and to ascertain whether there is any tax evasion.
There are 15 lakh registered service tax payers in the country. According to the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) chairman SD Majumdar, only six lakh service tax payers are filing returns.
"So, nine lakh have stopped filing returns. We are trying to locate them and find out whether they have really stopped providing service or there is (tax) evasion," Majumdar told PTI. He said the Revenue Department was taking a number of steps to increase the indirect tax collection.
"We have taken a number of steps towards the recovery, so that there is no evasion of service tax," he said, adding that service tax collection has been good in the first four months of the fiscal. In the April-July period, the growth in service tax collection is estimated at 35.5%, Majumdar said.
In 2010-11, the service tax collection was Rs70,200 crore, which exceeded the revised estimates of Rs69,400 crore. In the previous year, the tax mop-up was Rs58,422 crore.
The tax, at a rate of 10%, is imposed on a limited number of services, like banking, hotel and telephony. However, with the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) the scope of service tax would be widened.
The Finance Ministry is working on a 'negative list' of service tax, meaning all those services which are not in the list would be taxed.
IndiaFirst Life Insurance new business premium has reached Rs150 crore till July
One of the youngest players in the life insurance space, IndiaFirst Life Insurance, has set a target of mopping up Rs1,200 crore from new premium this fiscal and has lined up a bouquet of products to help achieve this goal.
"We have one group savings product, one unique offering for high networth individuals and a pension plan in the pipeline for this fiscal. The pension plan will be launched when the regulatory guidelines are out," IndiaFirst managing director and chief executive P Nandagopal told PTI. The company's new business premium has reached Rs150 crore till July, which was its target for the first quarter.
"We are already on track for achieving the Rs1,200-crore new business premium target by the end of the fiscal," he said. To achieve this, the private insurer is also planning to increase its agents to 5,000 from the present 500 in this fiscal.
IndiaFirst is also working on four more offerings, including two health products for FY13, he said. The private insurer already has a dozen products, both under the traditional and unit-linked portfolios.
"Our recent foray into health insurance had tremendous response and we have already sold 5,000 plans," Nandagopal said, adding he was expecting selling 30,000 IndiaFirst Money Back Health Insurance Plan by the end of FY12.