New Delhi: To mark the completion of year long celebrations of 150 years of Income Tax collections, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday released commemorative coins in denomination of Rs 150 and Rs 5.
 
One side of the coin bears the portrait of 'Chanakya and Lotus with Honeybee'.

The Rs 150 coin is not only unique for its denomination but also its size and metal composition.

This 44 millimetres circular coin is made of 50 per cent silver.

The function to commemorate the occasion was titled 'Income Tax – 150 years of Building India'.

The year-long celebrations were inaugurated by Mukherjee in July 2010 to mark completion of 150 years of income tax in India.

On the sidelines of the ceremony, Pranab said direct taxes collections have risen by 20 per cent to Rs 3.35 lakh crore so far during the current financial year.

Direct taxes collections have grown at an average annual rate of 24 per cent in the last five years and has nearly trebled from Rs 1,32,771 crore in 2004-05 to about Rs 3,78,000 crore in 2009-10.

Its share in GDP has also increased from 4.1 percent to 6.1 percent.

"This sustained growth has been possible due to rationalisation of tax structure, improvement in tax administration and persistent efforts of the employees of Income Tax department,' Mukherjee said here.

"Direct taxes collections have registered a growth of 20 per cent during the current fiscal so far and have reached nearly Rs 3.35 lakh crore", the finance minister said.

He said direct taxes are now the major resource provider to the Central Government for undertaking developmental works.

Income tax was introduced for the first-time in the legislative history of India vide the Act No. XXXII of 1860.

It had imposed 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.

(Agecnies)