The Finance Ministry, it appears, wants to make sure that calamity, strike or other disruptions at

The Finance Ministry, it appears, wants to make sure that calamity, strike or other disruptions at banks/branches don’t disrupt revenue collections.

The Ministry has asked members of the public to use alternative channels such as ATMs, Internet, and other electronic means to pay tax and other statutory dues in case of any service disruptions at the bank/branch in handling government business.

Apparently, at a time when revenue collections have turned sluggish due to the general economic slowdown, the last thing the ministry wants is disruption in collections, said a banker.

Gross direct tax collections during April-October of the financial year 2012-13 nudged up by just 6.59 per cent and stood at Rs 3,02,810 crore as against Rs 2,84,081 crore in the same period last year.

When it comes to tax collections, if access to banks/RBI is not available, then the ministry wants either Internet-based tax payment facilities of banks to be used for making payments through debit/credit cards or through the bank account or payments through ATMs.

If some banks are on strike, then payment can be made at any other functioning bank/branch authorised for the purpose. The ministry said if cheque-based clearing facility is not possible, then funds transfer can be made through electronic means such as national electronic funds transfer, national electronic clearing service, and real time gross settlement.

ramkumar.k@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on December 10, 2012)
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