In the final of their outreach programs through UT of J&K and Ladakh, the taxpayer awareness campaign, “Mulaqaat” was conducted today in Srinagar. Discussions were chaired by Shri MP Singh, IRS Senior Income Tax Commissioner, Srinagar, Sh. Rajiv Gubgotra, Joint Income Tax Commissioner, Smt. Abhishri, Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax, Sh. Danish Gill, Deputy Commissioner CGST and Sh. Abid, Addl. Commissioner in Div. The office of Comm. was also present alongside other officers of the Income Tax Department.
The officers of the Income Tax Department and the GST Department interacted with the taxpayers, the business community, small traders and businessmen and members of representatives of trade organizations, viz. the hotel industry, associations of travel agents, association of chemists, crafts, the carpet industry, CAs and lawyers were also present. The objective of the program was to gather comments and concrete suggestions from stakeholders and to listen to their grievances in addition to educating taxpayers about income tax and other GST-related issues.
MP Shri Singh urged the people of Srinagar to pay their taxes diligently and submit to the scope of the tax without any fear as the income tax and CGST departments have suffered a radical change in recent years. He stressed that the goal of establishing the new office inaugurated in Srinagar, with a senior officer overseeing the entire office of the Senior Income Tax Commissioner, is to make the department more accessible to the people of J&K. . Through this office, the Department aspires to establish a large-scale, cohesive tax base here, encourage voluntary compliance, ensure timely resolution of grievances, conduct taxpayer awareness programs, raise taxpayer awareness, and disseminate financial literacy in tax matters, while championing the principle of facilitating taxpayers for the people of J&K. Ch. MP Singh further promised taxpayers that if any of their grievances were pending for more than 6 months, his officers would resolve them by December 31, 2021. He further ordered all his officers to facilitate the resolution of all questions asked in the ASK (Aayakar Seva Kendra) Center of the Income Tax Office from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily.
Beyond that, citizens’ comments were gathered by officials regarding tax matters and their aspirations for the Union budget. Mr. Sheikh Ashiq, President of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry, called for increased focus on Kashmir exports, creation of carpet village to promote Kashmir carpet manufacturing industries, relief tax for the loss-making tourism sector, relief for those whose GST registrations have been canceled and corporate tax rate cuts have been reduced. Mr. Showkat Chouwdhary spoke about the need to establish industrial power connections for tourism industries in Srinagar. The need to stimulate purchases from local MSMEs was stressed by Mr. Qadir Jamini. Representing the chemists and pharmacists of Srinagar, Mr Fayaz called for such outreach and interaction programs to be continued extensively in the valley to educate and guide the people of Kashmir keen to know how they can become honest taxpayers. and proud of the nation. Ms. Smriti Kohli, a local CA, drew attention to the need to educate DDOs and government employees about TDS arrangements and filing TDS statements in order to avoid late filing fees. Mr. Khan, a resident of Srinagar, appreciated the Vivaad Se Vishwaas program launched by the Income Tax Department and the way it has greatly assisted taxpayers with their debts. He further called for these innovative programs to continue to be designed to facilitate taxpayer compliance.
Overall, it was a very constructive and fruitful interactive session where the voices, thoughts and ideas of the people of Srinagar were heard and recorded, where Sh. MP Singh pointed out that the tax departments of the Income and CGST are “humrahi”, that is, partners in the development of Jammu and Kashmir.