Saturday, March 05, 2011

FM wants IRS officers to think beyond Chanakya's Koso Moolo Dandah theory

INDIA’S finance minister Pranab Mukherjee quoted Arthasaastra’s author Chanakya while addressing the 64th batch of Indian Revenue Service (IRS) probationers in New Delhi recently, but wanted them not to blindly follow what has been practiced in tax collections. He wanted the young I-T officers to keep in mind that the assessee is not an adversary and committed taxpayers are the engines of the nation’s economy and hence they are important clients of the revenue department.
Mukherjee said, “When Chanakya says Koso Moolo Dandah in the Arthasaastra, he makes the important point that the treasury and its inflows are the source of a nation’s might. Historically, the focus of the direct tax administration has been on maximal enforcement of the Statute so as to maximize tax revenue and the collections. Both theory and practice has shown that this did not bring in the intended results.”
Mukherjee reminded the probationers that tax assesses need to be treated as clients, but deliberate evaders and offenders must be punished. “We need to constantly adapt to ongoing changes and update, improve and innovate our systems and practices as well as adopt the best from the rest of the world”, he says.
Also, Mukherjee asked the IRS probationers to remain consistently creative throughout their life in public service. Creativity is one attribute that enhances the quality of leadership, and willingness to learn and humility is imperative for the ready acquisition of effective knowledge and skills, he added.
So what’s the final take away? Has the FM advised IRS probationers to go beyond Chanakya and his Koso Moolo Dandah theory of 23 hundred years ago?
Also Read
10 Chanakya quotes for bureaucrats

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