" He said the performance data for the manufacturing sector in the months of June and July this year is encouraging and if the trend continues for a few more months it will constitute a pattern."
New Delhi, Aug 11 - The government is in favour of trade facilitation as it increases the ease of doing business, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said Monday.

Trade facilitation will not only bring ease in doing business in the country but will also reduce the cost of doing business, Jaitley said, delivering the keynote address at the inauguration of a two-day annual conference of senior customs, central excise and service tax officials here.

Jaitley's remarks come in context of India's refusal to ratify a World Trade Organisation (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement last month. India wants its adoption postponed till there is satisfactory progress on finding a permanent protection for its minimum support prices to farmers against the WTO's agriculture subsidy caps.

Jaitley also said that though the indirect taxes collection target for the current financial year are challenging, they are achievable.

The target has been set at Rs.6,23,244 crore, or 25 percent more than last year's collections.

Last few years have been somewhat difficult as far as the Indian economy is concerned. In last few years when you had modest growth rate, they were coupled with either a static or negative growth rate especially in manufacturing, as a result some of the indirect taxes took the hit, Jaitley said.

He said the performance data for the manufacturing sector in the months of June and July this year is encouraging and if the trend continues for a few more months it will constitute a pattern.

The Finance Minister asked the officers to work as facilitators for tax payers and at same time act firmly in cases of revenue leakages or tax evasion. He emphasised the need for reducing tax litigation so as to unlock the money held-up in pending cases.


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