SRINAGAR- As Part of outreach initiative of Union Ministry of Finance, the Central GST and Income Tax departments organized joint programmes at Kulgam, Shopian, Anantnag and Kupwara districts.
The initiative is aimed at reaching out to representatives of small and medium industries, business professionals, local business bodies and associations, start-ups, women entrepreneurs and others to collect feedback on budget expectations and other aspirations. The programmes witnessed enthusiastic participation of all stake holders.
Joint Commissioner, CGST, Vivek Gupta, gave a brief introduction about GST explaining that rollout of GST in 2017 was a major reform wherein cascading effect of the taxes was mitigated. Under the initiative, many of the state and central taxes (C. Ex. Duty, ST, VAT, Purchase Tax, Entry Tax Luxury tax etc) subsumed into one tax, i.e., GST and now it is One Nation One Tax as tax is levied on supply of goods or services at a uniform rate throughout the country, he maintained.
He informed that there are Nil GST rates or low rates for goods required for basic consumption such as grains, salt, jaggery, vegetables, fruits and related items. To ensure transparency and accountability, every communication sent by the Central Tax officers to the taxpayers has a system generated Document Identification Number (DIN), he informed.
Deputy Commissioner, Daanish Inder Singh Gill, Assistant Commissioners, Amandeep Talwar and Ravikesh Tripathi elaborated various aspects of GST like composition levy scheme, e-invoicing, benefits for MSMEs, amnesty schemes, relaxation in compliances, Budgetary Support Scheme and COVID relief measures. They also shared contact details and useful link to CBIC website with the trade.
Later, traders were invited to express their grievances and demands regarding GST reforms.
The trade associations raised their concerns like difficulties encountered in filing various returns on the GST Portal and requested for organizing more awareness programmes about GST and Income tax, in which people should be taught about TDS, GST Returns, IT Returns etc. They also demanded a suitable time window beyond due date of filing of returns, free of late fee, in view of internet connectivity issues in Kashmir.
Joint Commissioner, CBDT, Rajiv Gubgotra, informed the traders about various reforms of Income tax like faceless assessment of income tax returns, introduction of new format of income tax portal to make it more user friendly and several other related measures. He also addressed the grievances of the participants regarding TDS, IT returns filing.
The Trade association thanked the Union Finance Minister for providing them a platform to express their concerns and demands for GST reforms and Income tax related issues.
Taxpayers Awareness/ Outreach Programme Held At Anantnag, Kupwara
A Taxpayer Awareness cum Outreach programme titled ‘Mulaqaat’ of the officers of the Income Tax Department and the Central GST Department with the locals of Anantnag and Kupwara districts was held on Thursday.
The ‘Mulaqaat’ programme was held under the supervision of Principal Commissioner of Income Tax, Srinagar, M.P Singh.
In Anantnag, the programme was conducted at the Dak Bungalow, Khanabal where along with the District Magistrate, Dr. Piyush Singla, Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax, Abhishri and officers of the CGST department were present.
In Kupwara, the programme was conducted at the Town Hall where along with Joint Commissioner of Income Tax, Rajiv Gubgotra and officers of the CGST department, the ADC of the District, was also present.
During the programme, the interaction was held with the representatives of the local youth, dry fruit shop owners, willow bat manufacturers and other small shopkeepers & businessmen in large numbers. Feedback from the people was taken by the officers regarding taxation issues and their aspirations from the Union Budget.
Mushtaf, a young trader from Anantnag, requested that awareness and educational camps be continued to be held in their district extensively to educate the public about the same. He insisted that the locals wanted to pay taxes but they needed guidance with respect to the same to encourage voluntary compliance.
Shaukat Mansoor, Secretary Trade Federation of the Kupwara district requested establishment of a dedicated ASK (Aayakar Seva Kendra) centre at Kupwara. Wasim, a local CA from Anantnag requested that the jurisdictional Income Tax office for Anantnag be located closer to the district headquarters for facilitating the taxpayers there.
The President of the Municipal Council of Anantnag and Ashfaq, a businessman from Kupwara requested that extension for filing of returns be granted to the people of the valley keeping in mind the unique challenges faced by the locals here. The local traders and small shopkeepers were also informed about sections of the Income Tax Act, 1961, under which they can avail of the presumptive taxation scheme.
With regard to the Union Budget, the locals gave their ideas and suggestions, based on their local issues. Increased focus on tourism, construction of mini hydro power stations, employment generation for the youth especially women, promotion of willow bats and increased access to credit facilities were the highlights from Anantnag.
In Kupwara the local youth raised concerns about the fact that since Kupwara was quite far away from Srinagar; the district needs emphasised development impetus specially in cottage industries. Faizan Qureshi, a local youth of Kupwara stressed that more vocational training institutes may be opened in faraway places with an objective to provide employment.
The officers noted down the detailed points raised by the locals, collected feedback forms and promised to communicate the same to their superiors.
Moreover, the District Magistrate of Anantnag also promised that a task force for youth was being formed which would identify and focus on issues faced by the local youth of Anantnag, with the assistance of panchayats.
The taxpayers of the district were also educated about the technological advancements brought in both the departments and the transparency and accountability associated with the same.
Principal Commissioner of Income Tax has assured that the Income Tax Department is committed to the best taxpayer services for its assessees and they are assured that all their grievances will be redressed in a transparent and efficient manner
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