Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Thursday, Jan 08, 2004
Industry & Economy
IT assessments `Scrutiny lapses won't attract vigilance angle'
Kolkata , Jan. 7
REVIEW of scrutiny assessments under Section 143 (3) of the Income Tax Act carried out by AOs (assessing officers), at the hands of higher levels such as Deputy Commissioners or Joint Commissioners or Commissioners will no longer be a faultfinding exercise.
Giving this assurance to income-tax officers at the inaugural session of the four-day 37th biennial general body meeting of the all India Income Tax Gazetted Officers Association (ITGOA) here, Mr N.P. Sengupta, Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, Kolkata-1, said, at a recent meeting in Kolkata with the Union Revenue Secretary and the Chairman of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), it has been decided that such review of scrutiny assessments will be done in a constructive manner, without any vigilance angle and the ITOs need not fear any disciplinary action by the department even if mistakes are found in the assessments.
He said this has been categorically stated by the Chairman of CBDT, Mr P.L. Singh.
He told the large gathering of ITOs and other officers of the department, who have poured in from all parts of the country for the Kolkata biennial meet of ITGOA, being held after a gap of 10 years in this city, that "there will not be any disciplinary action even if lapses are found."
He said such reviews henceforth would only be a constructive exercise to ensure that "bad additions" are not made and also to correct mistakes, if any.
Conceding the inadequacy of the in-house computer training programme, he said there was need for more practice centers for I-T officers. Advanced computers were now being purchased in adequate quantities for use by all officers of the department, as per a recent decision of the Board, and sufficient physical infrastructure by way of additional space was also being created, he added.
Earlier, Mr G. Gopalan, President of ITGOA, said some of the burning issues agitating I-T officers all over the country were outsourcing of departmental work to outside agencies without developing in-house infrastructure, not filling up vacancies in various cadres and non-revision of ITOs' payscales since 1997 from Rs 6,500-Rs 10,500 to Rs 7,500-Rs 12,000, which has been allowed to various groups of similarly placed officers such as accounts officers in AG's office, Railways and Central Secretariat. He said the appropriate course of action would be chalked out in the course of deliberations during the next two days.
Responding to Mr Gopalan's comments, Mr Sengupta said the board was sympathetic to the officers' long standing demands on pay scale revision, and that the matter was now under serious consideration at the ministerial level.
The Income-Tax Department will shortly introduce a new online TDS payment verification system in collaboration with National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL).
Urging income-tax officers not to get demotivated over the backlash they may face in the case of fraud TDS certificates, Mr N.P. Sengupta, said that under the new online TDS payment verification system being put in place, the department will be able to carry out complete verification before allowing refund credits to taxpayers.
All TDS returns will now be taken care of by NSDL, which will keep a record of all such payments for online verification, he pointed out. He said the new system would be in force soon.
On the fears of officers over the slow pace of computer training, especially for processing returns under the AST system, Mr Sengupta said the entire project was still under implementation, and was likely to be completed by end March 2004.
More Stories on : Income Tax
Stories in this Section
The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | The Hindu Images | Home |
Copyright © 2004, The
Hindu Business Line. Republication or redissemination of the contents of
this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of
The Hindu Business Line