Srinagar: Mona Singh, IRS, Principal Commissioner of Income Tax (ReFAC), Jammu and Manoj Pal Singh, IRS, Principal Commissioner of Income Tax, Srinagar presented a book ‘Mulaqaat’ on Taxpayer Outreach Programme in J&K and Ladakh to Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Wednesday.
The book documents the interactive sessions conducted by the Income Tax Department in J&K and Ladakh.
It may be recalled that on November 22, 2021 at SKICC Srinagar, while addressing the Tax administrators and stakeholders of J&K, the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in the presence of the LG of J&K, had directed that the Income Tax and Central GST authorities were to jointly visit all the districts of J&K to carry out an outreach programme and hold interactive sessions with various stakeholders including small and medium businessmen, young professionals, start-ups and youth.
It was on this call of the Finance Minister, that the Income Tax Department has conducted outreach programmes, titled ‘Mulaqaat’ with all the stakeholders of the J&K in all districts of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh from November 30, 2021 to December 11, 2021.
The purpose of these outreach programmes and interactive sessions was to understand the difficulties being faced by the public in respect of Direct and Indirect Taxes and to assist them in solving the problems along with motivating the youth to pay taxes, by directly connecting with the pulse of each district.
The aim has also been to find out about the expectations and suggestions of the people from the forthcoming Union Budget and to make the public aware about the technological advancements made by the new taxation regime to increase transparency and ease of compliance and to provide better taxpayers’ service, with the objective to motivate more people to become proud and honest taxpayers, establish a consistent tax base on a large scale, encourage voluntary compliance, ensure swift grievance redressal, 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 India.
It is for the first time that such an exercise has been undertaken by both the Departments jointly to directly connect with the people of J&K and garner their feedback, suggestions and aspirations from the Government of India vis a vis the Income Tax Department and the Central GST Department.
The participants of ‘Mulaqaat’ in all the districts expressed great happiness that the Finance Minister of the Government of India had sent officers from the Income Tax Department and Central GST Department to listen to their concerns and gather feedback. The officers noted down the detailed points raised by the locals, collected feedback forms, collated the same and communicated them to the Hon’ble Finance Minister of the Government of India, Nirmala Sitharaman and LG of J&K, Manoj Sinha in the form of the book, ‘Mulaqaat’.
The entire exercise of meeting the local youth, traders, small shopkeepers, industrialists, horticulturists, entrepreneurs and businessmen of the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh has been deeply meaningful.
Not only was the participation by the locals enthusiastic, but also very informed with detailed and district specific suggestions and feedback. Each ‘Mulaqaat’ enriched the officers of the Department as they directly connected with the public and listened to their experience with the Income Tax Department, taxpayer services, the recent technological advancements and their aspirations from the upcoming Union Budget.Furthermore, a unanimous demand for organisation of more such Taxpayers’ Awareness Campaigns and Interactive Sessions was made by the locals in each and every district.
“A few of the suggestions given by the locals of Kashmir with respect to the upcoming Union Budget are highlighted here. In Shopian, the locals highlighted the need for river channelling & Flood proofing of river Rambi Ara and construction of mini-hydro projects over the same.
Rambi Ara is a river and tributary to the River Jhelum located in the Shopian District.The locals of Anantnag emphasised the need for support to willow bats manufacturers in Kashmir. The Kashmir region remains the second largest exporter of cricket bats in the world, right behind the UK,” said a statement.