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New Delhi, May 13

THE Finance Ministry is betting high on service tax collections to help achieve the fiscal responsibility and budget management (FRBM) goals by 2008-09.

The importance of service tax can be judged from the fact that the Kelkar Task Force on FRBM Act had factored in service tax collection of Rs 1,06,000 crore in 2008-09 for achieving the FRBM goals, according to Mr Gautam Ray, Joint Secretary, Finance Ministry.

Service tax collections of the Centre during 2004-05 stood at about Rs 14,150 crore.

Speaking at the Confederation of Indian Industry's National Service Tax Conference here on Friday, Mr Ray highlighted that the FRBM Task Force had pegged the excise collection levels at Rs 1,62,000 crore for 2008-09.

This, he said, was on the manageable side. The Centre's excise collections for the year 2004-05 stood at Rs 99,352 crore.

The Centre has pressed the pause button on the implementation of the FRBM Act for 2005-06.

The Finance Minister, Mr P Chidambaram, had said in his budget speech that he was confident of resuming the process of fiscal correction with effect from 2006-07 and achieving the FRBM goals by 2008-09.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated May 14, 2005)
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