“In an era of free trade and trade liberalisation, there is need for global cooperation and sharing of intelligence information among countries, especially the neighboring ones, to control illicit movement of goods across the border,” he said.
Jaitley also directed revenue intelligence officials to increase the use of technology and develop the ability to read between the lines to check financial malpractices. “The dynamics of revenue intelligence would continue to evolve with changing times. The world is obliterating the distinction between tax evasion and tax avoidance,” he said.
The finance minister added there was a time when incentive for tax evasion and smuggling was high. However, with a decline in tax rates, tariffs and duties, the incentive for financial malpractices was down, he said. India has raised the issues concerning tax evasion and avoidance at several international meetings, especially the G-20 deliberations.
Revenue Secretary Shaktikanta Das, also speaking at the event, said DRI should focus on trade-based money laundering. He asked the Customs and DRI officials to work in a non-intrusive manner, so that legitimate movement of goods and services across the border and within the country was not affected. “Those who are doing trade in a legitimate and fair manner should be encouraged and treated in a friendly manner.”