Central Board of Direct Taxes Chairman Sushil Chandra on Tuesday said the filing of income tax returns for assessment year 2018-’19 has seen a 50% rise so far since last year, PTI reported. He attributed it to demonetisation.

Speaking on the sidelines of a Confederation of Indian Industry event in Delhi, Chandra said 6.08 crore income tax returns had already been filed this year. The revenue department will achieve its direct tax collection target, which is Rs 11.5 lakh crore for the current financial year, he added.

He added that the decision to scrap high-value currency notes on November 8, 2016, had helped in increasing the tax base of the country. In the last four years, India’s tax base has gone up by 80%, he said.

“Our gross direct tax growth rate is 16.5% and net direct tax growth rate is 14.5%, which itself shows that demonetisation really helped in widening and deepening of tax base,” Chandra said. “As on date, total direct tax mop-up stood at 48% of the Budget estimate.”

The CBDT chief said following the note ban, the number of corporate tax payers has also gone up to 8 lakh from 7 lakh last year. The agency will set up within a year a system to start giving electronic PAN cards within four hours, he added.