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Sitharaman inaugurates IT-D's new office in Srinagar

Srinagar, Nov 22 (IANS) The Income Tax Department's new Office-cum-Residential complex -- The Chinars, here, was inaugurated on Monday by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the presence of Jammu and Kashmir Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha.

Dedicating the project to the people of the Union Territory (UT) of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), the Finance Minister said the Income Tax office at Srinagar will act as a bridge to connect the people of the region to the best taxpayer services and also help them in their taxation issues through the Aaykar Sewa Kendra.

Sitharaman also observed that it will provide an enabling environment for the "bhagidari" -- people's participation in the development of the region.

In his address, Sinha highlighted the importance of taxpayers in the economic development of the country and said that the Income Tax department is becoming seamless from the stage of filing return to the issuance of refund.

Revenue Secretary Tarun Bajaj, in his address, emphasised the increasing contribution of the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir to the exchequer, reflected in the upgradation of the Income Tax charge at Srinagar to the level of Principal Commissioner of Income Tax at Srinagar.

Bajaj also said that the newly inaugurated Income Tax office will serve as a platform for providing information, knowledge, guidance and ease to the taxpayers, enabling them to reap the benefits of increased economic activity.

The event marks a forward step towards realising the Central government's vision of delivering quality taxpayer services and facilitating participation of all segments of taxpayers in Jammu and Kashmir in the nation's tax system in a spirit of trust and respect.

From a modest rented abode in Barbarshah in 1954 to one of the largest civilian offices of the Government of India in Srinagar, the establishment of the office with state-of-the-art facilities for the taxpayers reflects the commitment on the part of the IT Department to bring taxpayer services closer to the people of the region.

The 3.5 acres campus, adjoining the silk factory on the banks of Jhelum river, was acquired in 2008 at the cost of Rs 13.50 crore. The project was started in November 2015 by NBCC, and was completed in July 2020.

The total expenditure made till date is Rs 27.78 crore. The complex consists of a total of 8 buildings having office building of Principal Commissioner of Income Tax Srinagar and its associated offices, 33 Residential units and an eight-room guest house.

In her interaction with tax administrators and stakeholders at SKICC later, the Finance Minister 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 services.