a   tr   t re in ndia    17.19
     been done by now, though the pace and method           of demonetisation) tax harassment must be
     at times have not been so praiseworthy. As India’s     avoided by officials at all rungs of hierarchy. The
     reforms have been gradual and incremental the          tax administration must shift to greater use of data,
     laxity in tax reforms might be due to this also. In    smarter evidence-based scrutiny and audit, greater
     the backdrop of the developments by far, a five-       reliance on on-line assessments with less physical
     pronged strategy was suggested27:                      interaction between tax payers and tax officials.
           (i) GST should be broad in coverage to           Once GST has been enforced much more data will
                include activities that are sources of      be available on individual transactions—by using
                black money creation—land and other         this data together with greater information sharing
                immovable property;                         between the direct and indirect tax departments at
          (ii) Individual income tax rates and real estate  the centre, along with coordination with the states,
                stamp duties should be reduced;             greater compliance can be achieved through ‘non-
         (iii) The income tax should be widened             punitive means’—in relation to indirect as well as
                gradually and which could progressively     direct tax collections. The promise of digital age
                encompass all high incomes;                 can be used to improve the tax administration of
         (iv) The timetable for reducing the corporate      the country in a big way.
                tax rate should be accelerated; and              Meanwhile, the Union Budget 2018-19 looks
          (v) Tax administration should be improved         committed to the ongoing tax reform process in
                by reducing discretionary powers of tax     the country. The new set of direct reforms which
                officials and improving accountability.     have been hinted by the Government, is yet to be
           In the process of collecting taxes on newly      proposed. As per the Government these reforms
     disclosed and undisclosed wealth (in the aftermath     will be belonging to a different genre and will be
       27.    Economic Survey 2016-17, Government of India, aimed at a paradigmatic shift in the existing direct
              Ministry of Finance, N. Delhi, Vol. 1, p. 78. tax regime in the country.