Kolkata, Oct. 29:
The Union Government has finally launched the large taxpayer unit (LTU) in Kolkata, the fifth such in the country. Earlier this year, the Revenue Department of the Union Finance Ministry had set up a cell and allocated office space for the LTU. Parthasarathi Shome, adviser to the Finance Minister, had said at the formal inauguration that the administration had lowered the threshold for opening such a unit in the city in view of the lukewarm response from large taxpayers, particularly corporate houses.
The LTU here started its journey with eight assessees — two public sector banks, UCO and UBI; State-owned Hindustan Copper Ltd along with private sector organisations such Titagarh Wagons Ltd and Century Plyboards (India) Ltd, have volunteered to join the Kolkata LTU. The Revenue Department had set 15 as the minimum number of assessees for an LTU to be formed. In 2006, the Finance Minister had proposed the concept of LTUs with plans to roll them out in five metros . According to Sumit Bose, the Revenue Secretary, the contribution of 4 LTUs to the total tax revenue kitty has been around 8 per cent. LTUs have been acting as a single window clearance point for all matters relating to central excise, IT, corporate and service tax irrespective of geographical location of the units. However, tobacco products, monitored physically, had been kept out of the LTU ambit.
Having completed the first leg of the task, the administration is now looking forward to extend LTU facilities to second-tier cities. Shome said the Tax Administration Commission would begin work from November and would place its first report by 6 months. “Following that, it is expected to place reports after every three months,” Bose added.
(This article was published on October 29, 2013)