New Delhi: The income tax refunds issued by the Income Tax Department during the first eight-and-a-half-months of the current fiscal was Rs 1.57 trillion while it was only Rs 1.23 trillion in the entire fiscal period 2018-19, Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey had said. When compared to the previous figures, the income tax refunds issued by the government saw a 27.2 per cent increase, stated news agency PTI.

Taking stock of the economic slowdown in the country, the government had taken steps to uplift growth from a six-year low by boosting consumption. Thus the press conference was organised on Friday to disclose the impact of the steps taken to boost the country’s economy.

Addressing a press conference on Friday, Pandey noted that the number of tax refund cases has increased by 17 per cent to 2.16 crore. He added that an Integrated-GST refund of Rs 38,988 crore has been released so far this fiscal as compared to Rs 56,057 crore in full 2018-19 financial year.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council Chairman Bibek Debroy had suggested an option of either retaining exemptions or asking taxpayers to pay tax at a lower rate, stated a report.

Stating that the current economic slowdown in India is binary in nature, the PMEAC Chairman said that several structural reforms related to land, labour and skills, natural resources are needed, including disinvestment and privatisation, added the report. India is currently growing at a rate of 5 per cent. Speaking to the Economic Times, Bibek Debroy estimated that, “Potentially, if land and labour reforms happen and states begin to grow fast we might go up to 7-7.5 per cent. But it is safer to talk about 6-6.5 per cent.”

(With agency inputs)