SRINAGAR: In the finale to their outreach programmes across the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, the Income Tax department today conducted Taxpayers Awareness Campaign ‘Mulaqaat’ in Srinagar.
Principal Commissioner Income Tax, Srinagar, M P Singh chaired the event while Joint Commissioner Income Tax, Rajiv Gubgotra; Assistant Commissioner Income Tax, Abhishri; Deputy Commissioner CGST, Danish Gill and Additional Commissioner in Divisional Commissioner’s office, Abid besides other officers of Income Tax Department were also present.
On the occasion, officers of Income Tax Department and GST Department interacted with the tax payers, business community, small traders and businessmen besides members of organised trade body representatives including hotel industries, travel agents’ associations, chemist’s associations, handicrafts, carpet industry, CAs and advocates.
The objective of the programme was to take feedback and concrete suggestions from the stakeholders and listen to their grievances besides spreading awareness among the taxpayers regarding income tax and other issues with regard to GST.
Principal Commissioner urged upon the locals to pay their taxes diligently and come under the tax ambit without any fear as both the Income Tax and CGST departments have undergone a sea change in the past few years. He emphasised that the objective of establishing the newly inaugurated office in Srinagar, with a senior level officer overseeing the entire charge of Principal Commissioner of Income Tax, is to make the Department more accessible to the people of J&K. Through this office, the Department aspires to establish a consistent tax base here on a large scale, encourage voluntary compliance, ensure swift grievance redressal, conduct taxpayer outreach programmes, generate awareness to educate taxpayers and spread financial literacy with respect to taxation matters, all the while upholding the principle of taxpayer facilitation for the people of J&K, he added.
Responding to issues raised by taxpayers, Singh set a deadline of 31st December for the concerned officers to dispose of all their grievances lying pending for more than 6 months. He directed the officers to facilitate resolution of all queries put up in the ASK (Aayakar Seva Kendra) Centre of the Income Tax Office from 11 AM to 1 PM on daily basis.
Meanwhile, the officers had feedback from the people regarding taxation issues and their aspirations from the Union Budget.
Sheikh Ashiq, President of the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry requested for increased focus on exports from Kashmir, establishment of a carpet village to promote the carpet manufacturing industries of Kashmir, tax relief for the loss incurring tourism sector, relief for those whose GST registrations were cancelled and reduction in corporate tax slab rates.
Showkat Chouwdhary spoke about the need for initiating industrial electrical connections for Srinagar’s Tourism Industries while the need to boost purchases from local MSMEs was highlighted by Qadir Jamini.
Representing the Chemists and druggists of Srinagar, Fayaz requested that such awareness and interaction programmes be continued extensively in the valley to educate and guide the willing locals of Kashmir as to how they can become honest and proud taxpayers of the nation.
Smriti Kohli, a local CA, drew attention to the need for educating the DDOs and government employees regarding TDS provisions and TDS return filing in order to avoid late filing fees.
Khan, a local from Srinagar, appreciated the Vivaad Se Vishwaas scheme launched by the Income Tax Department describing how it had helped the taxpayers extensively in clearing their liabilities.
M P Singh emphasised that the Income Tax and CGST Departments are ‘humrahi’ i.e partners in the development of Jammu and Kashmir.