New Delhi: On the first day of her two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today inaugurated Income Tax Department’s new Office cum Residential complex, ‘The Chinars’ in Srinagar.
The complex was inaugurated in the presence of Jammu & Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement.
Addressing the event, Finance Minister thanked the people of Jammu & Kashmir for their contribution to the efforts in enabling the commissioning of ‘The Chinars’ Aaykar Bhawan and the attached facilities.
Dedicating the project to the people of the Union Territory (UT) of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), She 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.”
The Minister also observed that it will provide an enabling environment for the “bhagidari” i.e. people’s participation in the development of the region.
“Secretary, Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, Tarun Bajaj; Chairman, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), J.B. Mohapatra and Chairman Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC) M. Ajit Kumar were also present on the occasion,” an official release said.
In his address, Lt. Governor Manoj 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.
He observed that the success of the taxpayers will lead to greater economic development of UT of J&K. Also appealed to the taxpayers to honestly pay their taxes.
The event marks a significant step towards realizing the Government of India’s vision of delivering quality taxpayer services and facilitating participation of all segments of taxpayers in Jammu & Kashmir in the nation’s tax system in a spirit of trust and respect, the release said.
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 River Jhelum, 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 statement read.
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.
The building has been constructed in keeping with various human-centric and eco-friendly schemes of the Government of India, such as the ‘Accessible India Campaign (SUGAMYA YOJNA)’ by providing facilities for the differently-abled, using LED bulbs to save electricity (UJALA YOJANA), Swachha Bharat Mission, National Solar Mission, water harvesting and plantation of trees to promote environmental protection, the release said.
Following the inauguration of the building, the dignitaries planted saplings in the newly-inaugurated premises to mark the event.
Thereafter the Finance Minister proceeded for interaction with the tax administrators and stakeholders of J&K at the Sher-i-Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC) Srinagar later in the day, the statement added.
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 the importance of their role as facilitators & educators, making themselves more accessible to the taxpayers of the region to provide better taxpayer services.