IT Department holds outreach programme ‘Mulaqaat’ at Shopian, Kulgam districts

Srinagar: On directions of the Finance Minister of the Government of India, the Income Tax and Central GST Departments have started conducting outreach programmes titled “Mulaqaat” with all the stakeholders of J&K. The interaction is being held in all 10 districts of Kashmir and two districts of Ladakh from December 01, 2021 to December 07, 2021. Similar outreach programmes are also being organised in the Jammu Region.
On December 01, 2021, the officers of both the Departments conducted the outreach programme in the districts of Shopian and Kulgam.
In Shopian, the outreach programme was conducted at the Mini Secretariat of the district and in Kulgam the same was conducted at Rest House Chawalgam with representatives from the trade community, the local youth, fruit growers, small shopkeepers and businessmen in large numbers. Feedback from the people was taken by the officers regarding taxation issues and their aspirations from the Union Budget.
Basharat and Mr. Muhammad Abas, young traders from Shopian, & Mr. Mohd Iqbal Dhoobi, a local trader from Kulgam, raised concerns about the complicated nature of the Income Tax and GST laws. They requested that awareness and educational camps be held in their district extensively to educate the public about the same. They insisted that the locals wanted to pay taxes but they needed guidance with respect to the same to encourage voluntary compliance. While they appreciated the technological advancements brought in both the departments and the transparency and accountability associated with the same, the locals requested that such interactive sessions continue with the jurisdictional officers in order to address their concerns more effectively.
Aijaz Ahmad of Kulgam highlighted the difficulties faced by the local traders in filing ITR/GST returns due to frequent blockade of internet in the district. He also requested that relief be granted to the small traders of the districts with respect to penalty and interest charged for late filing of return.
Regarding the Union Budget, the local youth of Shopian and Kulgam requested that beyond horticulture, (on which majority of the population depends) further opportunities of employment be generated. They further requested for increased road connectivity between the villages of district Shopian and Kulgam, tapping of tourism potential, river channelling and flood proofing of river Ranbiara in Shopian and construction of mini hydro projects over the same.
Reyaz, a local shopkeeper from Shopian suggested that town beautification and basic facilities be emphasised in the district for visiting tourists. The audience also appreciated that amongst various Central Government schemes, Ayushman Bharat had benefited the people of J&K immensely. The locals expressed happiness that the Hon’ble Finance Minister has sent officers from the Income Tax Department and Central GST Department to listen to their concerns and feedback. The officers noted down the detailed points raised by the locals, collected feedback forms and promised to communicate the same to their superiors.
The Income Tax Department in Srinagar is headed by the Principal Commissioner of Income Tax, M.P Singh. His officers, the Joint Commissioner of Income Tax, Shri Rajiv Gubgotra and Assisstant Commissioner of Income Tax, Abhishri conducted the functions at Kulgam and Shopian districts respectively along with the officers of the Central GST Department.
The taxpayers of both the districts were also educated about the Taxpayers’ Charter of the Income Tax Department. The organisers expressed satisfaction that overall it was a highly constructive and fruitful interactive session where the voices, thoughts and ideas of the locals from Shopian and Kulgam were heard.

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