I-T dept opts for automation, becomes taxpayer-friendly
Bangalore, January 27 2012, DHNS:
The Income Tax Department unveiled the first Aaykar Seva Kendra (ASK) in the State here on Friday.
The I-T office in Unity Building has undergone a complete makeover with a 46-inch touch-screen display, automated counters and a sophisticated service delivery mechanism. A specific application is being created by Bangalore-based Breakthru Digital which will enhance the user interface and give scope for more functionalities. The touch screen allows visitors to log onto the I-T website and have their queries answered.
Speaking on the occasion, M L Agarwal, Chief Commissioner of Income Tax said two more ASKs will be set up in the State - Mangalore and Hubli - in the next couple of months. He said the 15 ASKs were functioning across India and an additional 60 will be opened this year. Five more ASKs will be established in Karnataka in 2013 and all I-T offices in the country will be transformed into ASKs.
Agarwal said the I-T department had become customer-oriented and hopes to weed out corruption by being more transparent in the coming months. “With the launch of e-returns, the I-T department is all set to can go paperless. Also, with Citizen’s Charter in place, people can hold our department accountable on failing to provide any service on time,” he said. He agreed that ASK has teething problems but it is only a matter of time before employees at these centre become professionals.
“Visitors to the office can watch television while they wait. They need not wait standing in queues as the system is now token-based, similar to banks, and adequate provisions for seating have been provided,” he said.
Source: Deccan Herald