NEW DELHI: Direct Taxes have registered a growth of 20% during the current year so far with the collections reaching nearly Rs 3,35,000 crores (till mid-February).

Giving this information, finance minister Pranab Mukhrjee said on Saturday that this sustained growth has been possible due to rationalisation of tax structure and improvement in tax administration.

Mukherjee was speaking at a function at which he released released a commemorative coin in the denomination of Rs 150 to mark the completion of 150 years of Income Tax collections.

The Rs 150 coin is 44 millimetres in dimension and is made of 50% silver. The reverse face of the coin bears the portrait of Chanakya and a lotus with honeybee. The concept has been taken from the FM's past speeches where he had quoted Chanakya saying: "Governments should collect taxes like a honeybee, which sucks just the right amount of honey from the flower so that both can survive." 

Vivek Kumar 
PGDM 2nd Sem

Releasing the coin, the FM said Income Tax was introduced for the first time in 1860 imposing duties on profits arising from property, professions, trades and offices. It was passed by the Legislative Council of India and received the assent of the governor-general on July 24, 1860. This Act was the precursor to the modern income tax law in the country.

Direct taxes are now the major resource provider to the Centre for developmental work. The FM said that direct taxes collections have grown at an average annual rate of 24% in the last five years and have nearly trebled from Rs 1,32,771 crore in 2004-05 to about Rs 3,78,000 crore in 2009-10. He said that direct taxes share in GDP has also increased from 4.1% to 6.1%.