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Direct taxes have registered a growth of 20% during the current year so far with the collections reaching nearly $ 74.07 billion (till mid-February). Giving this information, Finance Minister, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, said that this sustained growth has been possible due to rationalization of tax structure and improvement in tax administration. He was speaking at a function at which he released a commemorative coin in the denomination of Rs 150 to mark the completion of 150 years of Income Tax collections.

Releasing the coin, the Finance Minister said that 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 Finance Minister said that direct taxes collections have grown at an average annual rate of 24% in the last five years and that direct taxes share in GDP has also increased from 4.1% to 6.1%.

Source: (The Times of India: February 26, 2011)

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