Mains Paper 2: Governance| Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential
From the UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: Office of the IT Ombudsman and its mandate
Mains level: India’s rising middle class and its impact on tax collections
- The Union Cabinet chaired by PM has approved the proposal for Abolition of Institution of Income-Tax Ombudsman and Indirect Tax Ombudsman.
Who is Income Tax Ombudsman?
- It is an Independent body comprises of former tax officials or Indian Revenue Service Officials formed by the Government, empowered to address and settle tax payer’s grievances.
- The Ombudsman is governed by, and has to comply with the Income Tax Ombudsman Guidelines, 2006.
- At present, the Government has set-up Tax Ombudsman at 12 cities namely New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Kanpur, Chandigarh, Pune, Kochi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Bhopal.
Why such move?
- The Institution of Income-Tax Ombudsman was created in the year 2003 to deal with grievances of public related to settlement of complaints relating to Income Tax.
- However, the Institution of Ombudsman failed to achieve its objectives.
- It was observed that institution of new complaints have in turn fallen to single digits.
- Also, tax payers started preferring alternate methods of grievance redressal like CPGRAMS (Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System), Aaykar Seva Kendras etc.