Durgapur, Kolkata: Unmoved by the increasing differences between the TMC and Congress Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has asserted that the ties with its ally TMC are still very strong.

Standoff between the Congress and the TMC escalated when West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee dared the Congress to call off the alliance. Referring to the Trinamool Congress’ jibe that doors and windows were open, indirectly asking the Congress to leave the alliance, Mukherjee said, "Doors and windows are open and the alliance will remain as it is."

Meanwhile, the Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee stressed on direct tax collection as part of the country's revenue generation exercise.

While the amount of direct tax collected last year was Rs 5,96,000 crore, the indirect tax collection was Rs 3,76,000 crore, the minister said.

Inaugurating a new income tax building here in this industrial town, Mukherjee said that a recruitment drive in the income tax sector would be undertaken shortly.

Apart from the filling up of vacant positions, a 'good' number of new recruits would be inducted.  
He exhorted the tax collectors to cultivate genial behaviour while dealing with tax payers.

"Not just having new infrastructure will do, the tax collectors have to behave well with tax payers," Mukherjee said.

(JPN/ Bureau)