Inaugurates Income Tax office in Srinagar
STATE TIMES NEWS
Srinagar: The people of Jammu and Kashmir were denied development for over 70 years, but after the abrogation of Article 370, the government aims to reach out to every citizen of the union territory and give them their due, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said here on Monday.The minister inaugurated ‘The Chinars’, Aayakar Bhawan-cum-residential complex, the first permanent establishment of the department of income tax in the UT, at the Rajbagh area here in the presence Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha.Sitharaman said around 40,000 people were killed due to terrorism over the years in Jammu and Kashmir, and a land which is otherwise very peaceful and beautiful has spent so many years in a very “heart-crushing and tragic phase”.“Now, post the abrogation of (Article) 370, the delimitation commission has also been constituted. DDC polls have shown that people are looking forward to aspirational meeting of their dreams.
SRINAGAR: Expressing gratitude to the Finance Minister for the economic reforms in J&K, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Monday said that the ‘The Chinars – Aayakar Bhawan’ will play a significant role in streamlining the process for the taxpayers of J&K.Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi since 2014, the income tax system has been made vibrant and transparent. The implementation of ‘Vivad Se Vishwas’ scheme by Prime Minister is the first major revolution in the history of tax system.The Lt Governor said that during the last about two years, J&K has been steadily progressing in true sense, offering opportunities to women, youth, entrepreneurs and farmers alike. The historic Industrial Scheme worth Rs 28,400 cr has opened up investment opportunities for people from across the world. It will certainly lead to more development and prosperity in Jammu and Kashmir. We have already received proposals worth Rs 29,000 cr and we expect to reach the figure of 35,000 cr by ending December, he added.Reiterating his resolve of bringing transparency in the governance system, the Lt Governor said that more and more technological interventions are being made to ensure a responsible, accountable and corruption free system in J&K. We have developed tools like ‘JKBEAMS’, through which a person sitting in far flung areas can monitor the spending of each penny on public projects. For the first time in the history of Jammu and Kashmir, physical verification of projects has been made mandatory, the Lt Governor added.Speaking during the interaction with tax administrators and stakeholders, the Lt Governor termed the taxpayers of the country as the most valuable allies of the Income Tax Department.Income Tax Department has done massive reforms, incorporating technology to make the tax system faceless and paperless, bringing efficiency and transparency in tax administration, keeping in mind facilities and ease for taxpayers, he added.I believe that the taxpayer services of the country have become world class today. This has increased the confidence of the common citizens and the business world, and a new ideal model of the tax system has emerged before the country, the Lt Governor observed.Congratulating the officers of the tax department on beginning of the new chapter of Income Tax Department in Jammu and Kashmir, the Lt Governor made an appeal to various trade, industry organizations and people associated with the tourism industry for working hand in hand with the tax department for the progress of Jammu and Kashmir and paying tax for providing better facilities and infrastructure to the common citizens.It is the duty of every citizen, every businessman, to come forward and contribute in the development and prosperity of the UT. It is a collective responsibility of all and not the sole responsibility of the Income Tax Department to earn revenue source for the development of J&K and for Nation building, the Lt Governor said.The Lt Governor said that after August 2019, constructive reforms have been brought in the economic and social system of Jammu and Kashmir.In the last 16 months, we have tried to take the benefits of reforms to those important sectors of the economy which remained neglected earlier, so that they too can play their valuable role in nation building, he added.New markets are being provided to the inherent possibilities in agriculture, horticulture, small scale industries, handicraft and other sectors. Red-tapism and unnecessary government interference in business has been abolished, and priority is being given to proper implementation of policies, the Lt Governor apprised the Hon’ble Finance Minister.The Lt Governor further informed that in September last year, a stimulus package of Rs 1353 crore was given for the business class suffering from Corona, from which three and a half lakh business institutions were directly benefited.Tarun Bajaj, Revenue Secretary to the Central Government; J.B. Mohapatra, CBDT Chairman; Ajit Kumar, CBIC Chairman; Atal Dulloo, Additional Chief Secretary, Finance, J&K UT; Principal Secretary, CCIT, Chandigarh; Commissioner Income Tax Department, J&K besides senior officers of CBDT and CBIC, various Banks and the UT administration were present.
“Therefore, I would want to tell you in the context of dedicating this building that it is only a guise that I am doing this, but the larger issue is reaching out to every person in J-K, giving them their due which has been denied to them for the last 70 years,” the minister said.Sitharaman said development for Jammu and Kashmir is something that has been in the wings for a long time but “which has never happened”.“You see some development here and there, but the consistent pace at which the infrastructure was required, basic materials important for living and also for building the economy such as electricity (were not happening),” she said.The finance minister said Jammu and Kashmir has a potential capacity of about 20,000 MW electricity generation, and if it realises its full potential, it can do wonders for its economy and development.The capacity has never been fully exploited, she added.“Without basic supplies of electricity, for a beautiful state like this, for a potential-ridden state like this, development has always been at its bare minimum,” the minister said.Referring to the revocation of the erstwhile state’s special status, she said it is important now for Jammu and Kashmir to get that which has been denied to it in terms of facilities and development.“There is no point if it is kept like a small oligarchy of people holding every resource and denying ordinary citizens,” Sitharaman said.Common people have aspirations, and every citizen should be given space and that is what is being given post the abrogation of (Article) 370 , she said.The minister said with the inauguration of the office, there are now 251 principal commissioners of income tax all over the country and 21 in the north-west region.The Finance Minister reiterated the Government of India’s support to Jammu and Kashmir and read out the projects completed under PMDP and those in the pipeline for taking Jammu and Kashmir to new heights of development and prosperity.Later, in her interaction with tax administrators and stakeholders at SKICC, Sitharaman urged the officers of both CBDT & CBIC to be agents of change and reach out to the industry and business individuals to ascertain their expectations from the Government.While emphasising that officers of both CBDT & CBIC should work collectively, the Finance Minister also stressed upon the importance of their role as facilitators & educators, making themselves more accessible to the taxpayers of the region to provide better taxpayer servicesIn his keynote address at the ‘Aaykar Bhawan’, the Lt Governor said that inauguration of the new income tax and residential building ‘The Chinars’ is a sign of socio-economic change taking place in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
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