ASIA: Andhra govt creates watchdog agency to tackle tax evasion and revenue leakage.

As published on thenewsminute.com, Tuesday 23 June, 2020.

The Andhra Pradesh government on Monday created a watchdog agency, the State Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, to ensure protection of legitimate tax and non-tax revenues and tackle the menace of tax evasion and leakage. The new wing will function under the Finance Department with the main task of gathering intelligence on evasion of various taxes like Commercial Tax, Goods and Services Tax, Excise, Stamps and Registration, Transport, Royalty on Minerals and all other tax and non-tax revenues of the state.

The state Cabinet had recently approved the proposal to create the SDRI and, accordingly, Principal Finance Secretary Shamsher Singh Rawat issued an order constituting the watchdog.

The SDRI will be headed by an IAS officer in the rank of Commissioner or Special Commissioner.

"Loss of the legitimate tax and non-tax revenues of the state through evasion has been engaging the attention of the government. The SDRI will be a dedicated mechanism to extensively investigate such revenue leakages and to counter tax evasion effectively with a multi-faceted approach to enforcement. It will collate, analyse and process the intelligence and pass it on to the departments concerned for effective action against fraudulent practices to minimise revenue leakage," the Principal Finance Secretary said in the order.

The SDRI will function as the nodal agency for exchange of tax-related information with other revenue collecting/anti-evasion agencies like Central DRI, Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI), CEIB (Central Economic Intelligence Bureau), REIC (Regional Economic Intelligence Committee), FIU-IND (Financial Intelligence Unit – India), Police, CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation), Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), Income Tax Department and the field commissionerates of CBIC (Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs). It will liaise and coordinate with counterparts in Revenue Intelligence agencies of other states to curb unauthorised or illicit trade across the state borders.