Governor’s address at the felicitation function organized by the Commissionerate of Salex Tax on the occasion of ‘Vikrikar Din’
Address by Shri Ch Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra at the felicitation function organized by the Commissionerate of Salex Tax, Government of Maharashtra on the occasion of ‘Vikrikar Din’ at Y B Chavan Auditorium, Mumbai at 11 am on Saturday, October 1, 2016
Shri Devendra Fadnavis, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Sudhir Mungantiwar, Minister for Finance, Planning and Forest, Shri Subhash Desai, Guardian Minister of Mumbai and Minister for Industries, Shri Deepak Kesarkar, Minister of State for Home (Rural), Finance and Planning, Smt Snehal Ambekar, Mayor of Mumbai, Shri Arvind Sawant, Member of Parliament, Shri Raj Purohit, MLA, Shri Rahul Narvekar, MLC, Shri Swadhin Kshatriya, Chief Secretary, Shri D.K. Jain, Additional Chief Secretary, Shri V Giriraj, Principal Secretary, Shri Rajiv Jalota, Commissioner Sales Tax, invitees, tax payers, representatives of the Union, officers, staff and their family members, ladies and gentlemen,
At the outset I extend my heartiest felicitations to all of you on the occasion of Vikrikar Din. I am indeed delighted that some of the staff members and officers of Sales Tax and tax payers are being honoured for their outstanding work.
The Sales Tax is one of the most important sources of revenue for the State Government, which is eventually used for the implementation of various development and welfare programmes of the Government.
As staff and officers of Sales Tax department, the Government has assigned to you, its sovereign function of tax collection. You are therefore making direct contribution in building the nation and the State, something you must feel proud of.
Every officer and employee of the Government represents the face of the Government. The government will be judged by your approach and attitude towards customers and citizens. Your best ornament should be your conduct and behavior towards the public.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The economic transformation taking place in the country is mind-boggling. The role of the government itself is changing – from being a regulator to facilitator of business.
The Goods and Services Tax (GST), the biggest reform in India’s indirect tax structure, since the economy opened-up 25 years ago, has become a reality. The role of the Sales Tax department and that of officers and staff of the department will be critical in the implementation this Act.
In this connection, Sales Tax Department deserves our wholehearted compliments for preparing itself and the tax payers for the impending GST regime.
India is emerging as a major economy in the world. The State of Maharashtra is the growth engine of India’s economy. Maharashtra is also the most attractive destination for foreign investors. Not surprisingly, the State became the top recipient of Foreign Direct Investment during the ‘Make in India’ programme held in Mumbai earlier this year.
Initiatives such as the ‘Make in India’, Digital India, Start Up India Mission and others have created immense possibilities for the growth of business and commerce in India. It is expected that the Sales Tax department will be called upon to play a significant role in maximizing tax collection while also constantly striving to improve the ease of doing business.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The expectations of the people from the Government have increased. People want timely, quick, efficient and transparent services from the Government.
I am very happy that last year Maharashtra passed the Right to Services Act and guaranteed the delivery of various services to the people. Many services have been provided to the people online. Maharashtra was also among the first States in the country to adopt online the Right to Information Act. We must continue our tradition of providing leadership to the nation in the implementation of these legislations.
Tomorrow, on 2nd October, the nation will be celebrating the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhiji had said and I quote,
“A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption of our work. He is purpose of it. He is not an outsider of our business. He is part of it. We are not doing favour to him by serving him. He is doing us a favour by giving us an opportunity to serve him.”
These lines should serve as guiding motto for all government departments, staff and officers. We must treat citizens, rich or poor with due respect and dignity.
I am pleased to note that the Sales Tax has taken various initiatives to promote transparency, minimize visits of the tax payers to the sales tax offices and to enforce timely and accurate compliance of Sales Tax law of the state.
I congratulate all the officers and staff who were honoured today. I convey my special compliments to the Automation Team of the Department which has shown diligence and perseverance in developing the automated system which promises to facilitate voluntary tax compliance.
Most importantly, I congratulate the tax payers for contributing to the tax revenue in a self- compliant manner.
I wish and hope that the department will continue to create enabling atmosphere for doing business in the State and work in an efficient manner to maximize the government revenue.
Before I conclude, I convey my appreciation to the Hon’ble Chief Minister, Hon’ble Minister of Finance, other Ministers, senior government officials and officials of the Sales Tax department for their excellent work and wish you success in your future endeavours.
Jai Hind Jai Maharashtra