FM urges I-T officials to expedite returns, refund process and grievance redressal

Delhi:Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman distributes awards during an award function in the area of direct tax in New Delhi on Tuesday September 27,2022.(Photo: Wasim Sarvar/IANS)

New Delhi, Sep 27 (IANS) Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday urged income tax (I-T) officials to follow the three ‘Rs’ — Returns, Refund and Redressal — to make the system more efficient and people-friendly.

Addressing the Finance Minister’s award ceremony for I-T officials, Sitharaman said they should ensure that returns are dealt with quickly and systematically.

Secondly, income refunds should be disposed of speedily, which will earn greater goodwill for the department, she said.

Thirdly, the Finance Minister said that redressal of grievance should be addressed expeditiously.

“Today there are cases (in the income tax department) which have been lying pending since forever. You are the final authority. Why don’t you redress these on time? Provide relief and deliver fast, don’t keep anything on your table,” the Finance Minister told the I-T officials.

She said there should be dedicated days and hours for grievance redressal and clearing old files, so that people feel that the department is taking out time for addressing their concerns.

Lauding the work done by the income tax department, especially during the nationwide lockdowns at the peak of the Covid pandemic, Sitharaman said they deserved a word of appreciation.

During 2020-21, there were apprehensions that indirect tax collections were outnumbering direct tax collections, but now there is more equity as direct tax collections are at par with indirect tax collections.

There is a principle of equity in tax collections now, Sitharaman said, as direct tax collections have sustained the momentum along with indirect tax collections.

She also emphasised how the faceless technology for tax collections has enhanced collection of taxes, despite initial apprehensions and suggested that greater exposure to technology is needed to maintain this tempo.

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