After Ahmedabad last week, this was Sitharaman's second such visit to a tier-2 city, which is aimed at consulting traders, industry experts. She has already lined up plans to tour various other cities to hold such meetings with industry.
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday pitched for ‘efficient dispute resolution’ in tax-related matters, as she sought to dispel the perception of ‘tax terrorism’. Addressing tax officials and taxpayers in Varanasi on Tuesday, the finance minister said, “We should be working towards efficient dispute resolution processes in tax related matters. We need to build trust between tax payers and tax administrators.”
After Ahmedabad last week, this was Sitharaman’s second such visit to a tier-2 city, which is aimed at consulting traders, industry experts. She has already lined up plans to tour various other cities to hold such meetings with industry. The move follows several complaints of overreach by taxmen, which has roiled India Inc at a time when the economy is slipping into a protracted phase of slowdown.
The minister also launched the ‘GST Sampark’ mobile application, which aims to reduce the physical interface between tax officials and taxpayers and, thereby, minimises the scope for the harassment of taxpayers. Sitharaman was accompanied by revenue secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey and chairman of central board of direct taxes (CBDT) Pramod Chandra Mody.
On Monday, at an event in Delhi, Sitharaman had also promised all possible help to ‘wealth creators’ and stressed their indispensability in nation building. If the government walks the talk, it would mark a decisive shift in its intention to take calculated risks to reverse an economic slowdown, after it shied away from some key reforms in its first term purportedly for fears of the Opposition’s ‘suit-boot ki sarkar’ jibe.