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Opposition on Thursday sought changes in the present income tax procedures to make it people-friendly and said it would help check tax evasion. Participating in the resumed debate on the Finance Bill in the Lok Sabha, Anant Geete (Shiv Sena ) said people are more interested in evading tax than paying it for development.

He said the insensitivity of the IT department and the cumbersome procedures associated with filing tax returns were the main reasons behind the attitude of the people.

“Recently a senior IT official’s premises was raided by the CBI in Thane (near Mumbai ) and Rs 2.5 crore (Rs 25 million) was recovered . . .he had manipulated the IT procedures to blackmail a person who was to pay Rs 25 crore (Rs 250 million) as income tax,” he said demanding simplification of process.

He said such incidents should be of concern to the finance minister and demanded that Pranab Mukherjee disclose the number of big and small traders who pay income tax. Geete accused the United Progressive Alliance government of ignoring the interests of the aam admi by failing to check inflation.

“The aam admi is suffering from back-breaking inflation but we do not see the Government taking steps to check the trend,” he said.

He said the Bharat bandh called by 13 opposition parties shows that the common man was forced to hit the streets as the government was not taking interest in his problems. Bhoopendra Singh (Bharatiya Janata Party) claimed that country’s economic situation was going down every day and the government has no agenda to improve it.

He said because of the country’s complicated tax system, the poor are becoming poorer and the rich richer.

Singh alleged that the government was keen on protecting the interests of industrial houses rather than the farmers.

Kalyan Banerjee (Trinamool Congress ) demanded that industries working in Naxal and Maoist-hit areas should ‘return the benefits’ to the local people by ensuring development. He also raised the issue of cess on coal production not being used in the same area for development in West Bengal  and gave the example of Asansol.

Dara Singh  Chauhan (Bahujan Samaj Party) sought incentive to agriculture sector as it is the backbone of the country’s economy.

Singh said the Centre should give liberal financial help to Uttar Pradesh  and clear all pending projects for the state.

Jagdambika Pal (Congress) said the government has been doing commendable job in sectors like health, education, rural development, women and child welfare.

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  1. NADEY says:

    With due respects to the Hon’ble MPs, it is submitted that, there can never be a truly people-friendly IT Act. It wuld be very kind of some of our peoples’ representatives to require the Government to furnish the exact and true no. of claims of refunds pending and for how many years, say, as on 31-03-2010. As far as the public knowledge goes, many refunds are due for more than 10 years and in all such cases the standard reply of the it Deptt is that the records are missing. The Hon’ble Members may also inquire into the antecedents/vigilance records and the basis of selection of the IT Ombudsmen right from the inception of this useless/expensive resttlement scheme for retired IRS officers, the actual contribution made by each of the IT Ombudsmen, from the very day of their joining, the total TA/DA expenses incurred on their official tiurs, the actual no. of mandays spent by them on the job, and the attitude of these retired people towards the grievances of the tax payers. Of course, the infrastructure provided to them may also be enquired into, sine it is widely believed that they are not really given any support to enable them to perform their duties. Bit it is also known that most of these resettled retired IRS men and women manage to get selected to get income for 2-3 years without putting in real work and are hardly interested in getting any infrastructure support. Some of us are facing a void after the last Ombudsman lady retired in Delhi, making way for someone who has no idea of the scope of the work of an ombudsman.

    In this context, and since right from topmost officer in the CBDT and ITO down to the lowest staff in the IT deptt. are busy making money and sharing the same with their respective higher-ups, there is never any possibility of a tax payer friendly income tax regime. In Delhi itself, for example, the salary circles ITOs and their staff, with the support of the Union and the CCITs (as the case may be) make it a point to deliberately mutilate the PANs in the Returns so that they can send notices to the tax payers, many being old ladies,retired and senior citizens and issue false demand notices right and left. So these hapless and clueless persons rush to the ITOs whose staff/Inspectors harass them, make them come repeatedly to ITO, take bribes, and keep the matters hanging for years. The ITOs go on transfer, the new ITO/staff/Inspector come and start in the same way. Applications fot rectifications/refund issue are never attended, and if attended, huge demands of bribe are first made. And for 10-15 years such applications are pending. Itos and staff, CITs, CCITs keep on asking for copies, never take action,but ITO, Inspector, Staff, CIT, CCIT keep making money and the life of the tax payer a hell. How can there be ant people friedly tax deptt.? Can it be possible in sales tax. MV deptt., RTA, DDA, MCD, Water/Electricity, School Admission, Birth/Death Certificate issuing offices?

    In India, ordinary people were happy only once ever–during the great EMERGENCY of the GREAT MRS. INDIRA GANDHI, the only man among the non-entities. She alone knew and felt for people’s woes.

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May 2024