For making Income Tax collection effective - Make Structural Change in IT Department.
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Respected Mr Jaitley,
I am a retired PSU employee residing at Bhubaneswar, Odisha. I am not in receipt of any benefit such as Pension or subsidised health care from the Government. On the other hand, I survive on the interest earnings from my PF and Gratuity amounts. This, unfortunately, is falling both in absolute terms due to fall in interest rate as well as in real terms because of inflation. Inspite of the same, I feel proud that I am an honest Income Tax payer and one amongst the 1.7 croresTax Payers in a country having a population of 125 crores. Being a resident of Bhubaneswar, I can see that there is a sizeable population in this city as well as the other affluent cities like Cuttack and Puri who are not paying Income Tax. One of the IT employees, who has since retired, confided in me that only a handful of Doctors and Lawyers residing in the twin cities of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar pay Income Tax. In case a Tax enforcement officer dares to go after them, he is put to personal harassment. The lawyers file cases in the High Court against such an official on some pretext or the other and the doctors gang up to put him to mental and physical agony at the time of need. Similarly, in Puri, though there are hundreds of hotels and each is doing tremendous business, barring very few, rest of them do not file their returns at Puri. The IT Department at Puri is merely a public relations office who do not go for any strong move for fear of repercussions.
These examples, go to establish that the IT Department is not capable of booking defaulters and if you continue to look upto them for effective implementation of the law, we are only fooling ourselves.
So the suggestion that I have is the IT Department should not be with CBDT or the Finance Department, but should be made part of the Defense Department and should be manned by uniformed officers. Defaulters should be tried by special courts set up under the Defense Laws as this should be treated as a crime against the Nation.
I am sure the very announcement of change of the administrative ministry will send shivers down Th spine of the defaulters as well as those officials who are taking their jobs lightly.
Himansu Sekhar Pati
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