Gross direct tax collection increased by 5 per cent till November, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Monday as she allayed fears of corporate tax reduction impacting revenue collection.
Replying to a debate on Taxation Law Amendment Bill, 2019 in the Lok Sabha, the minister categorically said there is no decrease in direct tax collection.
In fact, there is an increase of 5 per cent in the gross direct tax collection till November this fiscal, she said.
Historically, maximum collection of direct taxes happens in the last quarter of the fiscal, she added.
The main objective of the reduction in corporate tax was aimed at attracting fresh investment in the manufacturing sector.
Ms Sitharaman said several domestic and global firms have expressed interest in investment post announcement of the reduction in corporate tax rate.
On the liquidity issue, the finance minister said banks have disbursed about Rs 2.5 lakh crore during their recent outreach programme. Of this, Rs 1.5 lakh crore were fresh term loans.
The minister also dismissed contention that the government was averse to criticism.
It is "unfair to say that government is not willing to listen to criticism," she said, adding that the government does listen and respond.
The remarks came against the backdrop of industrialist Rahul Bajaj's comments that India Inc. was afraid of criticising the government.