"This was a difficult year for the economy including for revenue collection because there was less imports and manufacturing activity was also slackening," Chidambaram said."
Addressing the officials of Central Board of Excise and Customs ( CBEC) here, he said the tax officials should make their best efforts to achieve the budgeted target in the remaining weeks of the current fiscal ending March.
The customs and excise officials should make their best efforts to achieve the target. There is still seven weeks to go (for the fiscal to end). So they should make efforts to reach as much close to the target as possible," Chidambaram said.
The government has budgeted to collect over Rs 5.05 lakh crore in the current fiscal from indirect taxes that comprise excise, customs and service tax, an increase of 27 per cent over realisation in the previous fiscal.
He said this has been a difficult year for tax collectors. Indirect tax collection grew at a moderate rate of 16.8 per cent to Rs 2.92 lakh crore in the April-November period as against the annual growth target of 27 per cent.
In the first eight months of the previous financial year, collection of indirect taxes was Rs 2.50 lakh crore.
While excise has yielded over Rs 1.08 lakh crore during April-November 2012, collection from customs and services tax worked out to over Rs 1.04 lakh crore and Rs 78,774 crore, respectively.
In November last year the government had said it would be difficult to achieve the corporate tax, customs and excise mop-up target as projected in the budget because of subdued corporate profits.
The industrial output growth shrank 0.1 per cent in November. The Finance Ministry expects the economy to grow by 5.7 per cent, a decade's low, in the current fiscal. This is lower than 6.2 per cent recorded in the previous year.