Srinagar : In continuation to their outreach programmes across J&K and Ladakh, Taxpayers Awareness Campaign, ‘Mulaqaat’ was continued today in the districts of Budgam and Ganderbal of Kashmir Province, under the guidance of the Principal Commissioner of Income Tax, M.P Singh (IRS Officer of the 1990 Batch) who heads the Income Tax Department in Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. The proceedings were chaired by Rajiv Kumar Gubgotra, Joint Commissioner of Income Tax, Srinagar at District Budgam and Smt. Abhishri, Assisstant Commissioner of Income Tax, Srinagar at Ganderbal. Sh. Shahbaz Ahmad Mirza, Deputy Commissioner was also present in Budgam and Sh. Mujaffar Ahmad Peer, ADC was present in Ganderbal along with officers of the CGST Department.
The representatives of the local youth, trade communities, fruit growers, small shopkeepers & businessmen and government employees participated in large numbers in both programmes. Along with spreading awareness amongst the taxpayers regarding Income Tax Slab rates, Sh. Rajiv informed the traders regarding various sections of presumptive taxation scheme of the Income Tax, which provide facility of filing return without accounts audited and without the need to maintain books of accounts. Smt. Abhishri urged and motivated the audience to contribute to the task of Nation Building as honest and proud taxpayers. At both the awareness programmes, special emphasis was given to encourage the locals to pay their taxes diligently since tax collection and socio-economic development go hand in hand. Mr. Adil, a local youth from Ganderbal, raised concerns about the complicated nature of the Income Tax and GST laws. The locals from both districts unanimously requested that awareness and educational camps be held in their district extensively to educate the public about the same. They insisted that the locals wanted to pay taxes but they needed guidance with respect to the same to encourage voluntary compliance. Both the Departments assured the locals that they were committed to the best taxpayer services and that there is no scope of any bias or harassment any more under the new transparent and accountable tax regime.
Other than feedback regarding taxation issues, the locals of Budgam and Ganderbal were urged to talk about their aspirations from the upcoming Union Budget. With regard to the Union Budget, the locals gave their ideas and suggestions, centric to development of their respective districts. Mr. Manzoor from Ganderbal representing the local horticulture community at Ganderbal voiced the need to set up a large number of cold storage facilities for apple, grapes and cherry production, the need for market intervention scheme for grade C apples and avenues for marketing & export of Ganderbal’s locally grown fresh fruits. Mr. Bilal Shah, a local trader from Ganderbal requested facilitation for the young entrepreneurs of the district. In Budgam, the locals requested for better internet connectivity and increased focus on industrialisation of Budgam.
Overall, both were highly productive and detailed interactive sessions where the voices, thoughts and ideas of the locals from Ganderbal and Budgam were heard and recorded. The officers assured the locals that the Income Tax Department is a partner in the development of Jammu & Kashmir and that the doors of their newly inaugurated office in Rajbagh, ‘The Chinars’, are always open for the public.